Iranian-Canadians still fear theocratic regime

Canada is home to almost 200,000 people of Iranian origin. Most are Shia Muslims and many are secular, but about 7,000 are Baha’i who fled following the Islamic revolution in 1979.

In Metro Vancouver, there are almost 45,000 Iranians, most of whom were born in Iran. They’re concentrated in North Vancouver and West Vancouver, but also live in Vancouver’s downtown core and Coquitlam.

Covering religion and migration issues over the years, I have interviewed dozens of Iranian-Canadians on and off the record.

Virtually all have been educated and economically successful, relieved to be enjoying Canada’s relative freedom, stability and tolerance.

But nearly all have been afraid to criticize the regime that runs their homeland. They’re convinced agents of the Iranian government, currently ruled by Supreme Leader Ali Khameini, are in Canada, watching for perceived troublemakers.

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