The Green party, Akbar Manoussi, and Iran -

The Green party, Akbar Manoussi, and Iran


Among Canadian invitees to conferences hosted by the Iranian government this spring and summer was one Akbar Manoussi, a former candidate for the Green Party of Ontario and Canada. Manoussi’s titles and affiliations, which are almost comical in their pompous absurdity, have included: “secretary general” of the “Iranian Scholars Association of Canada,” which appears to exist only on the Internet and which has a membership list that may be limited to Manoussi himself; and “director general” of the “Iranian Cultural Centre” in Ottawa, which is run out of the Iranian embassy.

I have now learned that several Iranian-Canadian scholars and journalists wrote Green Party leader Elizabeth May in October 2008, before the last federal election, to alert her to Manoussi’s ties to the government of Iran and to his dubious credentials.

“His nomination has made us wonder whether the Green Party does serious background checks of its candidates,” they wrote. “We Iranian-Canadian academics, journalists, and writers, who have lived and worked in this country for over two decades, have never heard of the ‘Iranian Scholars Association of Canada.’ We are wondering when this Association was established; who were the founding members; what is its governance structure for which Mr. Manoussi is the Secretary General; what is its mandate, and what activities it has been involved in.”

They also expressed concern about the “Iranian Cultural Centre” and its links to the Iranian embassy, adding: “There is no doubt that such a candidate, regardless of the outcome of elections, will harm the Green Party’s image and raise question about the party’s judgment.”

The letter was signed by the following (with their affiliations listed as they were in October 2008):

– Nasrin Almasi, Editor, Shahrvand weekly (the largest Persian-language newspaper in North America)

– Dr. Minoo Derayeh, Asst. professor, York University

– Dr. Amir Hassanpour, Associate Professor University of Toronto

– Dr. Haideh Moghissi, Professor, York University

– Dr. Shahrzad Mojab, Professor, University of Toronto

– Dr. Ezat Mossalanejad, Canadian Centre of Victims of Torture

– Dr. Saeed Rahnema, Professor, York University

– Dr. Farrokh Zandi, Professor, York University

– Hassan Zerehi, Publisher and Editor in Chief, Shahrvand weekly

They never received a response. Manoussi contested the election. He was, until recently, CEO of the Green party’s Ottawa-Vanier riding association.


The Green party, Akbar Manoussi, and Iran

  1. Shorter Micheal Petrou: Have you now or have you ever padded your resume and had TIES to the Iranian government.

    • So what are you trying to say, Rob?

      The nine signatories to the letter to Ms. May don't have a legitimate concern about Manoussi's relationship with the Iranian government? Or that even if they do, are you suggesting that Petrou should not be reporting on it?

      Please elucidate.

      • What I'm saying is that Petrou has become a sewer rat lashing out at people for no good reason. First he lashed out at Galloway because the guy did an interview with Ahmadinejad. Maybe he thinks Galloway should have slapped Ahmadinejad around while yelling "Lies!, Lies! Lies! Tell us the truth you son of a bitch!" like our journalists do to our politicians. Then the sewer rat lashed out at Massoud Shadjareh and his organization for giving the brush off to what was undoubtedly an annoying "citizen journalist" looking to hijack the venue and gather incriminating soundbites. Now he's lashing out at former Green Party candidate Akbar Manoussi for the dastardly crimes of padding his resume and having vague, unsubstantiated TIES! to the Iranian government.

        And to top it all off, I'm quite sure this sniveling sewer rat didn't even have the courtesy to contact any of the targets of his character assassination to inform them that the warmth they were feeling on their leg was him pissing all over it.

  2. Few people liked my observation the last time, but that has never stopped me before, so I shall offer yet again:

    Wasn't Mr. Fadden of CSIS trying to tell us something through the CBC's Brian Stewart a few months back?

    • And as people said at the time, if he had something substantial to say it should have been to the proper authorities and not vague pulbic accusations.

  3. I wouldn't put too much emphasis on his position as a Green Party candidate. I've been asked, twice, to be a Green candidate. Why? Because I showed up to a public meeting out of curiosity, and voted for them once because I disliked their campaign platform least of all. That, 100 signatures and a couple hundred bucks is pretty much all I'd need.

    Background checks come later, after you finsh third a couple of times.

    He's probably CEO of the riding association because he offered his basement for the meetings. How I wish I was kidding.

    • The Green Party is a haven for left wing anti-semites.

      • I bet that was therapeutic.

    • Well, if that's the case, then I'm sure Canadians would like to know what other deranged lunatics the Greens have in positions of power.

      • Positions of power? Like who gets to choose between donuts or cookies?

      • well, you can start with their leader, on most levels she entirely consistent with the Iranians.

    • I came. I saw. Iran.

      Btw, I think this guy and a few others from Ottawa (not positive, and can't be bothered to check) were posting on the GPC web/blogsite leading up to the election or during it – and some of the mainstream media were picking up on some of their whackier posts. Next you know, only former leader Jim Harris was commenting – the blogsite went underground for the duration of the campaign.

  4. I was a GP provincial candidate in 2007 and I met Akbar many times. I don't know (or care much) about Iranian diaspora politics. Akbar was a hardworking candidate, very intelligent, and it was an honour to campaign with him.

  5. I know Akbar and he's a great guy. There isn't a conniving bone in his body (which is probably why he didn't do too well as a politician). So he fudged a bit on his resume. Big whoop! It's not like he's planning on taking over the world. If he did I don't think he would of chosen the Green Party.

  6. Is this author actually being paid by Macleans to put together this primary school rendition of some secret conspiracy by the Iranian government to infiltrate Canadian politics through a friendly neighborhood the Green party candidate? And what business do you have making personal attacks on Dr. Manoussi? Are you a student he failed in the past and is holding a grudge? I've lost respect and faith in Macleans magazine if Petrou's comical and pompous absurdity is the best they can provide their readers.