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Trudeau says government monitoring after CSIS reports Iran has issued death threats against Canadians


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's aware of reports that Iranians are "interfering" with the lives of Canadians and his government is monitoring the threats.

CBC News reported Friday that Canada's spy agency is investigating what it calls multiple "credible" death threats from Iran aimed at individuals in Canada. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) said the threats undermine Canadians' safety and it is working with allies to respond.

"We are constantly watching and evaluating the threats posed to Canadians from foreign interference from a range of countries," Trudeau said at the Francophonie Summit in Djerba, Tunisia on Sunday.

"But obviously Iran is a significant concern these days, with not just the extraordinary heroics of women and girls in Iran standing up to the regime … We also know there are significant concerns about Iranians interfering with the wellbeing of Canadian citizens here in Canada."

Trudeau pointed out that the federal government announced a series of sanctions in recent weeks to ban Iran's leaders — including officials in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — from entering Canada. He said the goal is to ensure they can "never benefit from Canada, interfere in Canada or consider Canada a safe haven."

Reports of death threats come as Iran enters its third month of anti-government demonstrations triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the so-called morality police and died in custody after allegedly wearing her hijab improperly.

At least 341 people — including teenagers and children — have been killed and more than 15,800 have been detained in relation to Iran's protests, according to Human Rights Activists News Agency, an organization of Iranian activists. Experts suggest the true numbers could be much higher, given the regime's crackdown on the release of real-time information online.

Iran has kidnapped and assassinated activists, journalists and intellectuals abroad who speak out against the regime. Between 1988 to 1998, dozens of prominent Iranian dissidents abroad went missing or were killed.

Kaveh Shahrooz, a Canadian-Iranian human rights activist and lawyer, is now calling on Canadian police and intelligence agencies to take the threats seriously. 

He said "our pleas for protection have fallen on deaf ears for a long time" and he now wants Trudeau to give additional resources to Canadian authorities tasked with protecting dissidents.

"Our lives are in their hands now," Shahrooz told CBC's News Network on Saturday.


Article Source: HTTPS://WWW.CBC.CA