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Petition Launched To Stop Canada From Granting Visa To Iran Speaker’s Son

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Two petitions are now underway to the Canadian government to prevent the granting of a visa to the son of Iran’s parliament speaker, Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, a former top Revolutionary Guard commander.

A Canadian Federal Court document has emerged on social media in the past few days, which indicates that in 2022, Es’haq Ghalibaf, filed for the judicial review of the processing time of his immigration application and the federal court’s Justice Norris ruled that his application should be granted.

“As proud Iranian-Canadians who stand for freedom and democracy in Iran, we find it unimaginable that Canada would consider welcoming the son of such a warmonger, who, along with his father and family, has allegedly participated in money laundering and other corrupt activities,” the petition said.

“Allowing members of the dictatorship in Iran and their affiliates to enjoy freedom in Canada while they suppress Iranians and ruin the economy and environment of that proud country is unacceptable,” it added.

The court document indicates that Ghalibaf’s son, a civil engineer, was invited in December 2018 to apply for admission to Canada as a permanent resident under the Express Entry federal skilled worker program and completed his application in February 2019.

The document also shows that he made “repeated inquiries” about the progress of his application from the office of a member of parliament, Pierre Poilievre, who allegedly provided him with recommendation letters.

Pierre Poilievre speaks after being elected as the new leader of Canada’s Conservative Party in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, September 10, 2022.

Poilievre, who is the leader of the Conservative Party and has advocated for imposing sanction on the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), may have been unaware of the applicant’s father’s close ties with the IRGC. However, as speaker of parliament, he can be considered as the third highest ranking official in the country, after Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi.

It is not clear how his case reached Poilievre and why he tried to help, when often thousands of immigration applicants are either denied or have to wait years to be granted entry.

The document shows that in October 2023, Ghalibaf applied to the Federal Court for an order to compel the minister of citizenship and immigration to render a decision on his application.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the applicant also named the minister of public safety and emergency preparedness as a respondent because agencies under his authority are responsible for security screening,” the document says, adding that these respondents oppose the application on the basis that the delay is reasonably explained by the need to conduct security screening.

Ahead of the upcoming elections, hardline rivals of his father have politicized the issue. The Iranian regime propagandist, conspiracy theorist, and Ghalibaf critic Ali-Akbar Raefipour urged the Speaker to explain why his son should be seeking permanent residency in a “hostile country” as Iranian hardliners call Canada.

Reminding Ghalibaf that in 2017, when he was running for president, he had said that his son only owned an old car, a motorcycle, and a small amount of money, Raefipour demanded that he also explain how much his son has invested in Canada and how he has afforded the costs of application for permanent residency and legal action against the Canadian government.

“We know about this matter due to the transparency of court cases in Canada, otherwise, Mr. Ghalibaf and his family have not given away any information,” he wrote.

“If Eshaq Ghalibaf enters Canada, it means cooperation with IRGC,” a regime critic told the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a tweet. “The money that Es’haq brings with him to Canada is the money of the Iranian people, the same people who are oppressed and killed by the mullahs’ regime and by the IRGC. 

“It is not clear what profitable work Es’haq Ghalibaf has done in less than six years, so that he already managed to obtain the financial resources required for Express Entry to Canada … and the immigration lawyer’s fees,” moderate Rouydad24 website in Tehran wrote.

In April 2022 Ghalibaf’s critics accused him of hypocrisy for admonishing others for living a luxurious life, and telling Iranians they should support domestically made products. Ghalibaf had also urged tens of millions of Iranians suffering economic hardships to be patient when it was revealed that his daughter and wife had traveled to Turkey to buy luxury baby products for his yet unborn grandchild.

The revelation also caused resurfacing of other alleged corruption cases against the family including spending hefty sums on purchasing properties in Turkey and many called for his resignation. His supporters claimed rivals in intelligence agencies were behind the revelation.