Mahdi Tourage is among three scholars and a director promoted by an Iranian government-linked institution in Toronto that portrays itself as non-partisan study centre. The “Center for Iranian Studies” on Sheppard Ave. W. was founded by Iran’s former cultural attaché in Ottawa and is still funded by the embassy here. On its website, it links to departments at the University of Toronto, McGill, and Concordia – although it has no affiliation with any of them. Of the four individuals it promotes, three – Richard Foltz, Soheil Parsa, and now Mahdi Tourage – have confirmed that they have nothing to do with the centre. It’s a safe bet that the fourth doesn’t either.
Here, in part, is Mahdi Tourage’s email to me:
I have no idea who these guys are and have never heard of them before. I am certainly pissed that they have used my name and academic affiliation to somehow give the impression that I am in some way affiliated with them or support their work. In any event, I am going to send them a letter asking them to remove my name… Furthermore I am absolutely against the Iranian fascist dictatorship regime and support any efforts to expose its atrocities. Feel free to quote me on this,
Here is Tourage’s email to the centre:
I am writing to ask you to remove my name and picture from your website as someone who is somehow affiliated with your organization. I have no affiliation with you and until today did not know you even existed. It is very irresponsible of you to use my name and academic background without my knowledge, to give the impression that I am somehow affiliated with your organization or the fascits dictatorial government of Iran. I do support, however, any effort to expose the attrocities of the Iranian regime and the peaceful struggles of Iranian people for democracy.