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RCMP respond to revelations about Iranian foreign interference in Canada

Click to play video: '‘You will be shocked’: How Iran’s regime is threatening Canadians here at home'
‘You will be shocked’: How Iran’s regime is threatening Canadians here at home
WATCH: Iranian Canadians, legal experts, and security and intelligence sources say Canada has hundreds, maybe thousands, of potentially dangerous regime-connected officials on its soil – Nov 11, 2023

The RCMP has responded to a Global News investigation into Iranian regime interference in Canada.

The year-long The New Reality investigation uncovered upwards of 700 regime-linked associates operating on Canadian soil and threatening the lives of some Canadians.

In a statement, the RCMP acknowledged it received “reports of foreign interference being committed by or at the direction of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The RCMP added that “should illegal activity be found to be directed or undertaken for the benefit of a foreign state, it is considered foreign actor interference and within the National Security Program’s mandate to investigate.”

“If illegal activity is not found to be directed or undertaken for the benefit of a foreign state it is not considered an act of foreign actor interference, and falls to the appropriate police of jurisdiction to investigate,” the statement added.

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Mounties declined to answer specific questions about Iranian-Canadians in Global News’ investigation who say they don’t receive protection.

It claimed in a statement that there are “support mechanisms in place to assist them when experiencing potential foreign interference or state-backed harassment and intimidation.”

Hamed Esmaeilion, an Ontario man who lost his wife and nine-year-old daughter after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) shot down Ukraine International Airlines PS752 in 2020, killing all 176 people on board, spoke to Global News about the threats he faces.

After Esmaeilion started demanding answers and seeking justice, he started to get threats on social media, and even more chilling, multiple phone calls from the same person.

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“The last conversation I had with that guy, he was like, let’s talk about the last moments of your wife and your daughter,” he said.

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He added that he was told police resources are stretched too thin to protect him.

“I had (a) conversation with RCMP officers in January and I said, do you have any recommendations for me because I see the threats are going on, especially social media, and they said to me that they have no resources. They’re busy with Ukraine, Russia, China,” he said.

“Where is my wife and my daughter now? They’re buried in the cemetery in Richmond Hill, just because of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he added.

Prominent Iranian-American human rights activist Masih Alinejad had an alleged attempt on her life last year and alleged kidnapping plot in 2021.

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But Alinejad revealed troubling information about the danger facing Iranian Canadian dissidents.

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“The FBI told me that the same group who are trying to kidnap me on U.S. soil that were the same group from Revolutionary Guards in Iran trying to harass, kidnap and kill Canadians.”

In 2021, the FBI indictment against Alinejad’s alleged kidnappers said three individuals were targeted in Canada, but they were not identified.

Alinejad says she gets full protection from the FBI, but feels guilty that Canadians don’t get the same kind of security.

“They send death threats to Hamed and many other activists. Why? Because they don’t see any consequence,” Alinejad said.

The RCMP said it cannot comment on any of its ongoing investigations.

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