Iran seeks to open religious school in Montreal


An Iranian religious education organization under the ultimate supervision of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is attempting to establish a school in Montreal — violating Canadian regulations about what Iran is allowed to do in this country, and worrying expatriate Iranians who fear Iran’s growing influence here.

The Rastegaran organization runs a network of private schools across Iran. Its website lists six international schools, including one in Montreal.

The Montreal school is not yet open, and it is not clear what concrete steps have been taken towards that goal. An August 5 note on the Rastegaran website suggests there was a desire to open the school by September 1. A source in Iran familiar with Rastegaran told someone making inquiries on behalf of Maclean’s that money has been allocated for a school in Montreal.

Last weekend, the Rastegaran schools’ director, cleric Hojatoleslam Val Moslemin Meshkaat, was in Montreal. Kambiz Sheikh-Hassani, chargé d’affaires at Iran’s embassy in Ottawa, and cultural counselor Hamid Mohammadi both traveled to Montreal to meet with him.

Canada expressly forbids Iran from opening cultural centres outside of Ottawa. Iran, however, routinely ignores this directive, and Canada does a poor job of enforcing it.

Iran has established at least one front organization in Toronto; and it works to infiltrate student groups — to monitor dissidents, and to cultivate relations with Iranians in Canada who are sympathetic to the Islamic Republic .

Iranians in Canada who publicly oppose the Iranian government risk having their anti-regime activities reported back to Tehran — endangering their families, and themselves, should they return.

Last fall the Iranian Cultural Association of Carleton University — which is run by Hamid Mohammadi’s son, Ehsan — sponsored a panel discussion titled: “Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq: New Systems of Governance; Opportunities and Challenges.” Sheikh-Hassani spoke on the panel.

Several protesters disrupted the panel by holding up posters with the photos of Iranians they said had been beaten, jailed, tortured, and killed by Iranian authorities. The protesters included Ali Tabatabaie, who is married to the daughter of prominent Iranian reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh. Iranian security officials later showed up at his wife’s family’s house in Tehran to summon him to court. He believes the two events are related.

But it’s not just Iranian ex-pats vocally opposing the murderous regime in Tehran who attract the Iranian embassy’s attention. This summer the embassy organized and funded an academic conference for Iranians from the appropriate “cultural communities” in Cornwall —before postponing the event after it was reported.

Other Iranians living abroad have been given all-expense-paid trips to Iran for conferences there.


Iran seeks to open religious school in Montreal

  1. It seems silly we can’t prevent foreign governments from illegally monitoring people within our borders and at the same time allow them to have cultural centres.

  2. Well,Canadian secret service agency deliberately ignoring these facts or what ??!! This is regarding national security for gods sake.

  3. There are plenty of Jew schools in Montreal so what’s the problem!?!?!?

    • Since when has Jews threatened annihilation of Iran? duh!

  4. Please tell me Canadians are not so stupid as to let this happen.

  5. That is right. We should give our tax dollars to fund “rebels” who are nothing but terrorists and Sunni Islamic Crusaders. And from first hand ground accounts, we know these same rebels have killed innocent civilians who were reporting to work to get paid by the government in civil institutions. They pushed them all from highrise buildings to drop to a horrible death. And then there are reports of rebels raping non – Sunni women and children and leaving them for dead with their throats cut in a local slaughterhouse for the dogs to finish them.
    What we need to do is gather all insane individuals such as John Baird and Michael Petrou and parachute them into Syria, so they could live the reality. As a country we are not in the business of fighting proxy wars. And we are not about to send our troops into another war that is fought for the wrong reasons.

  6. This school is set up few years ago … i believe you do not have updated info on this issue… Meshkat has already made a lot of trips to Canada too… so i think there might be other Rastegaran school already running in the country.
    shame on the Canadian secret service!

    • what’s the name of the school?

    • Where did you hear about this? As far as I know, and from the press release published on the Rastearan website, they are planning to open the school in September and this would be their 6th international location. They have 2 in Herat, Afghanistan, 2 in Kabul, Afghanistan, 1 in Birmingham, U.K. and this would be their sixth location. How do you know Meshkat has made several trips to Canada?