Tehran condemns Morrisburg shooting

The Morrisburg satellite office of the SD&G OPP, as photographed in the summer of summer of 2017. Smith photo, Nation Valley News

MORRISBURG — The government of Iran is calling on the Trudeau government to explain why Babak Saidi, a “sick” Iranian national, was shot dead last month by an SD&G OPP officer in Morrisburg.

A Dec. 28 report by state broadcaster Press Tv indicates that Tehran has condemned the fatal shooting of the 43-year-old man from the Iroquois area and is using the incident to highlight lack of diplomatic relations and consular services between Canada and Iran.

The deceased suffered from schizophrenia and was required to check in weekly with police in Morrisburg after a 2014 conviction for assault and battery, according to media accounts quoting his sister.

“Unfortunately, we have been informed that an Iranian citizen residing in Canada, Babak Saidi, who was also sick, has been killed by a police gunshot,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi is reported as saying by Press Tv.  “We are examining the details; we will follow up on the matter through competent authorities to clarify its different aspects, and we will ask the Canadian government for explanation.”

Qassemi alleges “myriads of problems” for the Iranian community in Canada “as a result of the closure of Iran’s diplomatic mission in the country.”

The Press TV report glumly notes that former Prime Minister Stephen Harper severed diplomatic ties with Iran in 2012, “citing, among other pretexts, what it described as continued threats from Iran to Israel.” But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has lifted some sanctions and has engaged in talks about a possible resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries, adds Iran’s English-language state broadcaster.

The circumstances of Saidi’s death remain under investigation by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit.

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