"But Gar Pardy, a retired diplomat responsible for consular issues at the foreign affairs department, said there's only so much Ottawa can do, given that Iran has dug in its heels.
'The Iranians have decided that they're not going to deliver any measure of justice,' he said. 'The options are not great.'
And he cautioned that steps like pulling the ambassador from Tehran — while having value as a public relations gesture — could make life "miserable" for Iranian Canadians and their families back in Iran.
And he said economic sanctions aren't likely to have much of an impact, given that Canada does just $264 million in annual trade with Iran.
'Trade sanctions work if you can get a broad international consensus going,' Pardy said.
Barring any changes within the Iranian regime, the kind of pressure that Canada can impose on Iran 'I don't think would register on any scale.' "
-BRUCE CAMPION-SMITH, The Toronto Star: 66 asylum seekers sent back to Iran, Apr. 2, 2005. 07:53 PM
When I first read about Dr. Shahram Azam's testimony, I was so disgusted I felt physically sick. Then I thought about the courage that Stephan Kazemi is showing to the public, and I felt very sad for him. Then I thought about what the Canadian government has done - or not done, and I felt angry. I was angry becuase I appeared that the Cdn. gov't isn't doing anything.
Then I thought some more, and I realized that the Cdn. government has done something, such as helping to approve of Dr. Azam's stay in Canada, and it probably wants to do more, but its hands are tied. I thought, what can the gov't do?
What Mr. Gar Pardy says in the quoted article above rings very true in my ears now. And that is what the Cdn. government should do. It should recruit the help of other nations like Britain, France, Germany, Italy and others who have journalists who endured this type of ordeal.
I can't believe that the Iranian gov't can do this sort of thing and completely get away with it. This is simply unjust and it infuriates me.