Canada presses Iran for details on death of Iranian-Canadian in Tehran jail

This handout photograph released on February 11, 2018 by the family of Iranian-Canadian environmentalist Kavous Seyed Emami shows him at an unidentified location. (AFP)
Updated 14 February 2018
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Canada presses Iran for details on death of Iranian-Canadian in Tehran jail

OTTAWA: The Canadian government said on Tuesday it was “seriously concerned” with the circumstances surrounding the death of an Iranian-Canadian dual citizen in a Tehran prison, and that it was pressing Iran to provide details on what happened.
Kavous Seyed-Emami, an environmental activist and sociology professor, was arrested on Jan. 24 and died in prison, his son wrote on Twitter last week. Iran’s judiciary said on Sunday that Seyed-Emami, 63, had committed suicide.

“We are seriously concerned by the situation surrounding the detention and death of Mr. Seyed-Emami,” Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said in a statement.
“We expect the Government of Iran to provide information and answers into the circumstances surrounding this tragedy. We will continue to use every means at Canada’s disposal to seek further information.”
Seyed-Emami was the managing director of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, an organization aimed at protecting Iran’s rare animals, and a US-trained scholar in sociology.
He was arrested the same day as at least nine other staff members at his organization, according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), a non-profit group based in New York.
Iran’s judiciary said Seyed-Emami was a defendant in a spying case and had committed suicide because of the weight of evidence against him, an Iranian news agency reported on Sunday.
He died in Tehran’s Evin prison, his son said.
Canada does not have an embassy in Iran. Diplomatic relations between the two countries have been tense since an Iranian-Canadian photographer, Zahra Kazemi, was beaten to death in prison in 2003 after she was detained while taking pictures.
Dozens of dual nationals are in jail in Iran, mostly on spying charges.


Iran says navy mounts new defense system on warship

Updated 12 min 32 sec ago
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Iran says navy mounts new defense system on warship

  • The US military’s Central Command confirms it has seen increased Iranian naval activity
  • Iran has developed a large domestic weapons industry to achieve self-sufficiency

DUBAI: Iran’s navy has mounted a locally built advanced defensive weapons system on one of its warships for the first time, the Iranian navy chief was quoted as saying on Saturday, as tensions mount with the US military in the Gulf.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed earlier this month it held war games in the Gulf, saying they were aimed at “confronting possible threats” by enemies.
The US military’s Central Command confirmed it had seen increased Iranian naval activity, extending to the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for oil shipments the Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block.
Iran has been furious over US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and re-impose sanctions on Tehran.
Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi “reiterated that coastal and sea testing of the short range defense Kamand system were concluded successfully, and said this system was mounted ... on a warship and will be mounted on a second ship soon,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported,
The Kamand has been dubbed the “Iranian Phalanx” after an automated machine gun produced by US firm Raytheon whose heavy bullets shred incoming missiles.
Unable to import many weapons because of international sanctions and arms embargoes, Iran has developed a large domestic weapons industry to achieve self-sufficiency in producing military equipment, and often reports on its development of arms which it says are comparable with advanced Western systems.