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Irwin Cotler, MP


Major Iran Report – Foreign Affairs and International Development Committee

Ahmadinejad’s Iran: A Threat to Peace, Human Rights and International Law

Friday December 17th, 2010

The Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously adopted a report on Ahmadinejad’s Iran: A Threat to Peace, Human Rights and International Law that MP Irwin Cotler, Chair of the International Responsibility to Prevent Coalition to Combat the Iranian Threat (R2P) called “one of the most important reports that has been issued by any Parliament on the Iranian threat.”

In particular Cotler, who is a member of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights that drafted the report – and appeared as well as an expert witness before the committee – said that the report contained 6 principal Findings and Recommendations that can serve as a model not only for Canada, but for other governments as well.”

First, the committee determined that Iran had already committed the crime of incitement to genocide prohibited under the Genocide Convention and called for State Parties to the Convention such as Canada to hold Iran to account.

Second, the report called for comprehensive economic sanctions targeting the energy, petroleum, financial, investment, insurance and transportation sectors.
Third, it called for the sanctioning of the central bank of Iran –which is the nerve centre of the Iranian financial system.

Fourth, the report called for the Canadian State Immunity Act to be amended authorizing Canadian victims of Iranian terror to initiate civil suits against the perpetrators in Canadian courts.

Fifth, it called for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the epicentre of the Iranian threat, to be listed as a terrorist organization.

Sixth, it called for comprehensive sanctions targeting those engaged in the massive domestic repression in Iran.

Cotler said that the multilayered approach to sanctions was particularly important, “thus far, the sanctions have targeted the nuclear threat, which is both understandable and necessary, but by not targeting the genocidal incitement, terrorist and human rights threats, it ends up marginalizing if not sanitizing these threats.

Cotler concluded by cautioning that it was important not only to enact sanctions but to enforce them, otherwise it is as if the sanctions were never adopted to begin with. He pointed out that from 2000 – 2009 the USA, although it had already adopted a sanctions regime, nonetheless awarded $115 billion in contracts to corporations trading with Iran.

He noted that the research of the R2P Coalition has already determined that the sanctions adopted this past summer at both the UN and country levels are not being effectively enforced, while countries like Brazil, China, and Turkey are enhancing their trade with Iran and thereby undermining the sanctions regime.

[The electronic version of the report is available: