Women's Rights & Movements in IranCanada minister's wife targeted over Iran activism

Canada minister’s wife targeted over Iran activism

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AFP: The Iranian-born activist wife of Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay has been targeted by what Canadian media describe as offensive Twitter messages for her challenge of the Tehran regime. OTTAWA (AFP) — The Iranian-born activist wife of Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay has been targeted by what Canadian media describe as offensive Twitter messages for her challenge of the Tehran regime.

A message from the account of New York-based author and journalist Hooman Majd, said to be sympathetic to Iran, said: “F(expletive) a Canadian minister doesn’t make you Canadian, azizam (sweetheart). Come back to papa.”

Nazanin Afshin-Jam, a former beauty queen and human rights activist who married MacKay in January, denounced the “serious” slight as “offensive” in an interview with the daily Ottawa Citizen.

The message followed Afshin-Jam’s calls last week for the Canadian government to shutter Iran’s embassy in Ottawa over reports that diplomats were using cultural outreach programs to recruit expatriates “to be of service to our beloved Iran.”

Coming amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran, the claims spooked experts, who warned of possible espionage, terror recruitment and even a possible attack on the United States from north of the border.

Kambiz Sheikh-Hassani, the head of mission at the embassy, in an email to AFP denied the reported allegations, which had prompted a warning by Canada’s foreign minister against “interference.”

Majd has deleted the offensive message, saying in a tweet that his account had been hacked. “A recent series of tweets were made in my name as a result of a hack. Not my words, and tweets have been removed,” he said.

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