By Anthony Furey
Source: Toronto Sun
It was a dramatic scene in the House of Commons just over one year ago. The Conservatives had put forward a motion to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist entity. The IRGC is an ideologically-driven branch of Iran’s armed forces, created after the 1979 revolution, that has seen its power expand to envelop more and more of Iranian society. It plays a leading role in everything that is wrong with the troubled regime today.
Nobody expected the Liberal government to back the motion. After all, Trudeau had campaigned on growing relations with Iran and the Liberals had knocked down a similar motion by a Conservative Senator just weeks before.
But something strange happened when House of Commons Speaker Geoff Regan began taking the tally on the motion. He asked for all “yeas” to speak up, turning to the Conservatives to register their support for the motion. Then he asked for the “nays”, pivoting to the other side under the assumption that the Liberals would all vote against. Then there were rumblings. The “yeas” weren’t over.
There were others who wanted to vote for the motion – those on the other side of the bench. The first one to rise – remarkably – was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The PM was standing to support a Conservative motion about getting tough on Iran. The Conservatives were elated. Social media lit up. American media even took notice.
A year later though, it still hasn’t happened.
This past week Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced with great fanfare that the government had updated the list of designated terror entities. He was keen to draw attention to the fact that two neo-Nazi organizations were included, the first time far-right extremist groups had made the list.
The two groups are indeed troubling ones and have carried out murders and bombings in the United States and overseas. They certainly fit the bill for inclusion on the list and if they’re feeling emboldened in Canada then the RCMP needs to keep a watchful eye.
What Goodale didn’t emphasize was that the government has also added four radical Islamist groups to the terror list, including three aligned with Iran and seen to be doing their bidding. The IRGC though was not one of those groups.
Why not? The argument for it has only strengthened and since last year’s vote the United States has added them to their terror list.
“The listing process requires careful consideration of criminal or security intelligence reports by our security and intelligence agencies, which are reviewed by Department of Justice counsel to ensure that entities meet the legal threshold for listing under the Criminal Code,” explained Goodale’s spokesman Scott Bardsley, when asked about the IRGC’s exclusion by the Sun. “Canada is committed to working with like-minded countries to ensure Iran is held to account. This includes strong measures to hold Iran accountable for its support of terrorism.”
He also pointed out that Canada continues to list Iran as a state supporter of terrorism and that their Quds Force is already on the terror entity list. Fair enough. But that’s not what a rare show of bipartisan consensus voted to have happen one year ago.
It makes you wonder what’s really going on. Last year there were those of us who wondered if the Liberals were actually confused about what they were voting on, since there were multiple drafts of the motion floating around in the lead-up to the vote.
Whatever the reason, they could have done it with this latest update but they didn’t.