The HuffPost nearly redeemed itself. Nearly. The once progressive blog saw it fit to print the well written AP piece, documenting that: “The U.N. atomic agency has received new and significant intelligence over the past month that Iran has moved further toward the ability to build a nuclear weapon, diplomats tell The Associated Press.”
However despite this AP piece, the unfortunate trend saturating the HuffPost commentary on everything Iran-related very quickly returned to the fore.
Holly Dagres penned a piece entitled ‘Another Embassy Closed in Iran: What Does It Mean for Iranians?’ The Canadian decision to close the Iranian embassy apparently “baffled” her. The multitude of reasons (along with other examples of “baffled” commentators) for closing the embassy were delineated at length in a previous blog: https://iranmediafocus.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/canadas-brave-decision/
Dagres, meanwhile, criticizes the Canadian government’s decision to remove their own diplomats from Tehran, but includes a line that reads almost like an attempt at a jovial quip:
“Iran does have a history of invading embassies”.
Indeed it does Holly.
To her credit, she notes FM John Baird’s shopping list of legitimate reasons to end diplomatic relations with Iran:
“… the Iranian regime is providing increasing military assistance to the Assad regime; it refuses to comply with UN resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program; it routinely threatens the existence of Israel and engages in racist anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide; it is among the world’s worst violators of human rights; and it shelters and materially supports terrorist groups, requiring the Government of Canada to formally list Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.”
But Dagres disregards these genuine human rights concerns by noting how this diplomatic step will harm Masters and PhD students at the University of Alberta… Dagres desperately requires some perspective when it comes to the human rights of Iranians she claims to be defending.
But the HuffPost did not stop there. Arshavez Mozafari pens a work worthy of any PhD student (from his mellifluous writing, one can only assume he is from the humanities, and not a scientist!). Mozafari skillfully deconstructs his interpretation of contemporary Iranian identity in the multi-cultural society of liberal Canada. He does this in a scholarly, sophisticated and indeed passionate manner.
“Now, things are a little different. After escaping ourselves in this pitiful way, the 1990s brought us enough of a respite for us to engage in an ambitious project: No longer should we escape ourselves by posing as others — let us now begin escaping ourselves by constructing a new self. Recall all the labours that went into constructing this new identity (which amounted to just repeatedly smashing two stones against one another). The construction of “Persian Pride” indeed helped us gain some marginal respect but for all the wrong reasons.”
“Let us end with the closure of the embassy. The only way for Baird to have made this decision so effortlessly and without debate was through the forthright consent of Iranian-Canadian human rights activists such as Afshin-Jam. This consent is partly rooted in the rationale I have just described. In order to be recognized as subjects worthy of any kind of consideration, we are to assume a position that necessitates the wholesale dismissal of ourselves.”
No, this had nothing to do with suppressing your Iranian identity, nor for that matter any quasi ‘Iranian-Canadian’ hybrid values. This was a political decision made by the Canadian government as a result of persistent gross human rights abuses by the Iranian regime both at home (women, minorities, gays, political opposition) and abroad (Syria, Thailand, Bulgaria, Lebanon)… And if that was not enough, Iran had also turned its embassy in Ottowa into a “busy hub” of controversial covert (and indeed overt) recruitment for pro-regime activists: