Iran Warns about Spread of Iranophobia in Canada

FARS News Agency – –

February 10, 2011

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Foreign Ministry in a statement condemned the screening of an anti-Iran documentary film in Canada, and warned about attempts by the Canadian government to spread Iranophobia in the western country.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said in a statement that the screening of an anti-Iran documentary in Canada is a clear example of an Iranophobia policy pursued by Ottawa.

The Iranium is a supposed documentary that tries to depict Iran’s nuclear program as a threat against the West. The hour-long film has been produced by a US-based organization and is expected to appear on screen in the US and Canada this month.

In January, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore had ordered the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) to show the documentary, but the screening was canceled for concerns that it may spark protests.

The Canadian minister reacted to the cancelation and said in a statement that the freedom of speech was a core value in Canada that won’t be compromised. “The principle of free speech is one of the cornerstones of our democracy.”

Mehman-Parast, however, stated that the “baseless and discourteous” remarks of Canadian minister were indicative of an Iranophobia policy pursued by the Canadian government.

He said that the pretext of respecting the freedom of speech provided “no justification for spreading religious hatred.”

Mehman-Parast said that the screening of the film would not be the first and only instance of a “state-sponsored Iranophobia and Islamophobia policy” in Canada.

According to Mehman-Parast, the Library and Archives of Canada had earlier resisted to the holding of an Iranian cultural ceremony in the institution and the Canadian heritage minister had also urged the government not to provide security for a conference sponsored by the Global Islamic Society for Peace and Love.

Mehman-Parast said that all governments were duty-bound to avert the spread of cultural hatred among world’s nations and urged the Canadian government to remind its minister of common “diplomatic courtesy.”

He had earlier said in his Tuesday weekly press conference that the film proved that certain Western countries were “dismayed” by Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities.

The spokesperson said that such countries were resorting to every possible means to hinder Iran’s nuclear progress, and said “They even make use of different tools ? to create an unreal atmosphere in order to apply pressure on our policies.”

Western powers accuse Tehran of following a military nuclear program, a charge repeatedly refuted by the Islamic Republic.

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West’s calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.

Tehran has dismissed West’s demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians’ national resolve to continue the path.

Political observers believe that the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran mainly over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran’s nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for the other third-world countries.

This article was originally published here.