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Iranian Community Troubled by the Canadian National Art Center's Actions!

Iranian Community Troubled by the Canadian National Art Center's Actions!
May 30, 2011

Peter Herndorf, CEO and President
The National Art Center
P.O. Box 1534, Stn B
Ottawa, Ontario

"Note that propaganda is on the top of our agenda. Today's world rotates around propaganda. Note that the highest action that can bear fruits for our revolution here and help its export outside Iran is propaganda. Increasing and widening propaganda outside Iran should be at the top of our programmes." Khomeini on the importance of propaganda

Dear Mr. Herndorf,

We, the undersigned, are gravely troubled about the Canadian National Art Center’s involvement and participation in the Islamic government of Iran's upcoming 'Cultural Event' scheduled for June 4th, 2011. Our concerns are based on thirty-two years of the Islamic government’s deliberate neglect and destruction of Iran's past cultural heritage and history.

According to the World Encyclopedia, cultural genocide is a term used to describe the deliberate destruction of the cultural heritage of a people or nation for political or military purposes. Since coming to power, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been in a constant battle with the Iranian people as well as her culture and heritage. To promote the Islamic ideology and obliterate the Iranian identity, the Islamic government of Iran has been deliberately hard at work implementing policies that deemphasize Iranian nationalism and to rewrite Iran's past in official documents, history and textbooks. It routinely renames many Iranian named streets and incorporates many Arabic words and phrases into the Persian language.

Iranians remember all too well the interview conducted by the late Peter Jennings inside the plane returning Khomeini to Iran. When Khomeini was asked how he felt returning to Iran after many years in exile, he shamefully replied: "Nothing". Indeed Khomeini had other ideas in mind for Iran. From the early days of the hijacked revolution of 1979, one of the key objectives of the regime has been the promotion of a Shiia based Islamic nation in the region. Ayatollah Khomeini, ever since he put foot on the Iranian soil, openly expressed such notions in his various speeches during the early days of the revolution and suppressed any thought on Iran as a nation, with a glorious past and civilization. Indeed, one of the primary objectives of Khomeini was to advance his Shiite centered Islamic ideology all the way to the holy sites in the heart of Israel, thus destroying Israel!

The Islamic government has unsuccessfully tried numerous times to cleanse the pre-Islamic Persian heritage. It tried to declare war against the Persian New Year or “Nowruz”, and then, it attacked many other Persian traditions and customs. In 1979, Khomeini's right-hand man, the Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali, tried to bulldoze Iran’s greatest epic poet Ferdowsi's tomb and Persepolis palace. The total destruction of the relics of the palace was averted by Iranian patriots who literally stood in front of the bulldozers and did not allow the destruction of this heritage of humanity from taking place.

The Islamic government's overtures and respect for Iran’s cultural heritage is just a ruse, a dog and pony show, aimed at taking the focus away from regime’s blatant human rights violations. The regime also aims to use such events to promise and offer lucrative business contracts and to convince the Western countries to ease up on sanctions so that it can legally procure the equipment and tools it needs to finalize its nuclear weapons' program.

Islamic government's disingenuous and deceptive practices at hiding its true intentions are well known among the Iranian community. In 2008, The School of Oriental and African Studies-University of London claimed that they were unknowingly duped by the Islamic (non) republic embassy in London, who used the university facility for their propaganda and disinformation platform. It is indeed ironic that while the Persian culture, art and heritage is under attack by the Islamic regime, while voices of freedom and pro west are being silenced, while Iranian youths are being raped in IRI jails, while women are stoned, men are flogged and hanged in public, Western countries rather than restricting the medieval regime, knowingly or unknowingly, provide opportunities to it to give a rosy picture of its theocratic dictatorship. The National Art Center’s participation at this event will ultimately assist in putting a human face on a criminal regime. Perhaps it would be more appropriate for the Canadian authorities to expose blatant human rights violations of the regime, rather than helping it to hide it! Such events are not publicly advertised for the most part for the fear of Iranian protest and only a select few Iranians at the service of the Islamic republic are invited to attend, the real agenda appears soon after the event is underway. We respectfully ask that you cancel this shameful and spurious event.

Furthermore, Canada must have an enduring commitment to encourage liberty and human rights throughout the Middle East and should not ignore the fact that the current regime in Iran is a major threat to world’s economic stability and peace. At this time, Iran is dominated by a vicious dictator who has proven his lack of concern for Iran and Iranians on countless occasions. There should be no question that Canada must embrace its ethical and moral obligation to pressure a regime that does not abide by international laws and that sponsors terrorist organizations, to acknowledge and respect Iranian pro-freedom movements. The Iranian opposition groups hope to establish a co-operative relationship with the Canadian people and seek their support in establishing a secular government in Iran and one which recognizes individual liberties and minority rights.


Arash Irandoost, Founder
Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran

Cc: Rosemary Thompson, Director of Communications and Public Affairs

The undersigned

The Honorable Hashem Hakimi, Retired Ambassador
Dr. Arash Irandoost, Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran (PDMI)
Rose Atwood, Board of Director and Founding Member of PAIC (
Cina Dabestani, Chairman of Constitutionalist Party of Iran, Washington DC Chapter
Walton K. Martin III, Director, the Iran Information Project, USA
Dr. Gill Gillespie, Director, the Iran Information Project, UK
Neda for Free Iran,
Mr. Homayoun Mobasseri, Human Rights Activist
Yari Jan, Political and Human Rights Activist, Los Angeles
Firouzeh Ghaffaorpour, Political and Human Rights activist, Regime Change in Iran
Parvin Irandoost, Human Rights Advocate
Saied Shemirani, Political Activist: United Persian Organization (Iranbozorg)
Sheri Alvandin, Human Rights Activist and Publisher
Dr. Bijan Eftekhari, Professor of Economics
Shariyar Gourgi, Human Rights Activist
Hassan Darashti, Human Rights Activist
Mohammad Taghi Moslehi, Journalist
Shahin Khordepaz, Human Rights Activist
Mehdi Zolfaghari
Arman Nouri, Political Activist
Moteza Nouri, Journalist and Political Activist
Debora M. Andress
Dr. Siavash Abghari, Professor of Finance
Amir Ebrahimi
Fariborz Farhan
Masooud Nasseri
Arezou Lotfi, Political Activist, Student
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zuckerman, D.D., Chairman, American for Democracy in the Middle-East
Behnaz Shariari, Member Stop Child Execution and Human Rights Activist
Dr. Siavash Abghari, Professor of Finance
Jeff Baird, CEO, Right Side Publications

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