Spy agency investigates ‘credible’ death threats from Iran against persons in Canada | TBEN news

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Canada’s spy agency is actively investigating what it calls multiple “credible” death threats from Iran directed at individuals in Canada, TBEN News has learned.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service said it is aware of state actors from the Islamic Republic of Iran who are monitoring and intimidating people in Canada to silence those who publicly speak out against the regime.

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“CSIS is actively investigating various threats to life emanating from the Islamic Republic of Iran based on credible information,” CSIS spokesman Eric Balsam said in a media statement to TBEN News.

“Ultimately, these hostile activities and foreign interference undermine the security of Canada and Canadians, as well as our democratic values ​​and sovereignty.”

It is the first time the agency has confirmed multiple ongoing investigations into what it calls “deadly threats to Canadians and people in Canada” emanating from Iran.

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The details were released to TBEN News after Britain’s domestic intelligence chief revealed on Wednesday that the UK faces a major security threat from Iran, Russia and China – countries the UK accuses of using violence and intimidation abroad to advance its interests. to strive.

A photo obtained by TBEN outside Iran on September 21, 2022, shows Iranian protesters taking to the streets of the capital Tehran at a protest for Mahsa Amini, days after she died in police custody. (TBEN via Getty Images)

For the past two months, protesters have taken to the streets in Iran to protest against the regime. The massive demonstrations were provoked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the so-called vice police and died in custody after allegedly not wearing her hijab properly.

At least 326 people, including teenagers and children, have been killed in protests in Iran, according to the Norway-based organization Iran Human Rights. However, Iranian authorities maintain strict control over such information, and the numbers could be even higher.

MI5, the UK’s domestic counterintelligence agency, said Iran’s intelligence agency targets dissidents abroad whom they “deem to be enemies of the regime”.

MI5 director general Ken McCallum delivers a speech at Thames House in central London, Wednesday 16 November 2022. (Yui Mok/The Bharat Express News)

Ken McCallum, director-general of MI5, said Iran is responsible for at least 10 possible threats to kidnap or kill British or UK-based people this year.

“Iran is directly threatening the UK through its aggressive intelligence services,” McCallum said.

“The Foreign Secretary made it clear to the Iranian regime last week that the UK will not tolerate harassment or threats to life against journalists, or any individual, living in the UK”

The Canadian government last year condemned Iran’s “pattern of harassment and foreign interference” after US authorities laid allegations in an alleged Iranian plot to kidnap five people and bring them to Iran – including three individuals from Canada.

Relatives in Canada who have criticized the government of Iran after losing their loved ones in the 2020 destruction of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 have also reported to RCMP that they are targets of threats and intimidation from Tehran. Flight 752 was shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shortly after takeoff on January 8, 2020, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board.

CSIS said in its 2021 annual report that it continued to investigate “credible reports” regarding “threatening actors associated with proxies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

WATCH/Families of Flight 752 victims report threats

Families of Flight 752 victims report threats

Loved ones of Canadians and permanent residents who died in the crash of Ukraine Airlines flight PS752 say they have received a growing number of threats, believed to be from Iran and within Canada.

Dennis Horak, Canada’s former chargé d’affaires in Iran, said kidnapping and killing people abroad has been part of the Iranian regime’s playbook for decades. He said the latest threats are a reminder of the nature of the regime.

“This is a regime that is not and never has been internationally compliant,” said Horak, who worked at the Canadian embassy in Tehran from 2009 until its closure in 2012.

In the late 1980s and 1990s, several Iranian dissidents went missing or were killed abroad.

Iranian agents killed Sadegh Sharafkandi, the leader of Iran’s Kurdistan Democratic Party, in a restaurant in Berlin. The Germans pursued the case and in 1997 issued international arrest warrants for top officials of the Iranian regime.

Horak said it was rare for MI5 to disclose the number of attempts, which could indicate the agency’s concern.

“The British may feel that the Iranians have nothing to lose in terms of their international limits at the moment, so they can step it up and go after some of the people who are making the biggest noise about what is happening domestically,” he said .

CSIS said it cannot comment on specific cases on Canadian soil, but is working with domestic and international partners and the Iranian-Canadian community.

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