What to do with Iran. The source of much debate over the past year has been the new agreement signed between Iran and the US. Being touted as a way to promote good will and trust, many believe that it did nothing but flood money back into a nation that is hell-bent on making a statement around the world whenever and wherever they can.
Many politicians believe that they not only protect those who perpetrate terror but actually fund and foster them. Yet, the proof is just not there to believe that it is a systematic policy of the Iranians to go around causing chaos around the world, or is it?
According to the Peter Hsiao blog, the latest incident with our own Professor HomaHoodfar, who has been imprisoned in Iran and not allowed to speak to either family or to be represented by a lawyer, is making the Canadian community become suspicious about why she is unable to talk to anyone.
A Concordia University professor was seized and retained by the Iranian authorities and then shooed off to the Evin prison. After two weeks of trying to contact her, both family and lawyers who, trying to make a defense for her, have been unable to make contact. Her sudden arrest in Tehran came as a shock to the entire University community, her friends, and family, and now may be becoming a political standoff.
There are those who know that she is being detained at the Evin prison, Branch 2A specifically, which is where they hold counter-intelligence Revolutionary Guards of the Iranian Army. No further details have been given, but Amanda Ghahremani of CBC in Montreal insists that she is being held without any representation and no formal charges have been levied.
A professor of Anthropology who has both Canadian and Iranian passports, Hoodfar made the trip to Iran to visit friends and to do some studies on the way that Iranian women are faring in Iran. Although having roots in feminists studies, she is specifically concerned with the treatment of Muslim women throughout the world.
She was first questioned about her activities weeks before her arrest. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards showed up at her apartment in Tehran months before they arrested her and at that time they seized both her phone and her apartment without any official cause on record. No one in her inner circle has any idea what she could be held for and all access to her files, phone, and contacts, have been severed to anyone besides Iranian officials.
Her niece believes that the Iranian government is fearful that she is trying to engage Muslim women to uprise against the government in an organized way. They believe she is trying to foment an uprising or feminist-centered revolution, which her niece insists is anything but what her aunt seeks to do. An Anthropologist whose intention is to study civilizations has no intention of meddling in them or trying to create any uprising within any community.
The Canadian government insists that they are doing what they can to foster if not her release, at a minimum, to allow her access to a defense lawyer and to make contact with family and friends. The two governments have only begun to repair their relationship, initiating contact in 2012 and taking away sanctions, their relationship and communication are still tenuous at best.
Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion, when questioned, insisted that they may have to intervene and put in place the power of full diplomatic relations if a resolution is not made soon and if she does not resurface to make contact.
Many speculate that the Revolutionary Guard is attempting to make connections between her and other organizations that simply aren’t there. No evidence that she had any intention of causing an uprising or organizing a feminist movement in any way, they are holding her in hopes that they can find something to make formal charges.
Gaining the attention of the worldwide academic community more than 4800 international academia professionals have begun a petition to have her freed and Amnesty International is currently considering her case and calling for release.