Iranian-Canadians drive to U.S. in only option to vote in Iran election


Iranian-Canadians drive to U.S. in only option to vote in Iran election
  1. Iranian-Canadians drive to U.S. in only option to vote in Iran election
    globalnews.ca
    Voting has begun in Iran's first presidential election since it reached a nuclear deal with world powers reached in Vienna on 14 July, 2015. Hundreds of Iranian expats across the globe are voting, but one place they won't be voting from is…
    British Columbia

Voting has begun in Iran’s first presidential election since it reached a nuclear deal with world powers in Vienna on 14 July, 2015.

Hundreds of Iranian expats across the globe are voting, but one place they won’t be voting from is Canada.

Instead, dozens of Canadian-Iranians drove hundreds of kilometres to extraterritorial polling booths in the United States to have their say in a showdown between gradual reform or a conservative return.

Story continues below

Iranians have a choice between the country’s current president, reformist Hasan Rouhani and and another, more conservative religious cleric Ebrahim Raisi. 

READ MORE: Rouhani begins tough mission of selling US dialogue to hardliners

The outcome will not only impact Iran, but also affect stability in the region and relations with the rest of the world, according to Bessma Momani, a professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Waterloo. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI), and has been Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C.

Momani says “there is more potential for conflicts” between the U.S. and Iran if Raisi becomes the next president.

“It’s a recipe for potential conflict. A Raisi-Trump relationship will probably be far more on the verge of irrationality.”

“Clearly he’s [Raisi] a conservative cleric far more than Rouhani. Rouhani is more likely to be open to continued global engagement and so it matters to the people of Iran. It matters because they are fed up with this theocracy, they do want to become more engaged in the world. And don’t want to see the theocratic conservative policy that the Ayatollah and people like Raisi continue to call for,” she added.

It’s one reason why this election is so critical to Iranian expats.

Vancouver resident, Maziar Seirafi along with at least nine of his friends waited hours crossing the Peace Arch border to vote in Bellevue, Washington.

Seirafi, who was born in Iran, says he wasn’t even sure if he would make it past the border given the political climate in the U.S. and a failed attempt by Trump to implement the so-called Trump travel ban, which impacted people born in Iran. He says it was one of the quickest border crossings he’s ever had with the border guard commenting on how many Canadian-Iranians having been entering the state of Washington to vote.

Hundreds vote in Bellevue, Washington for Iran election.

Amir Bajehkian

“As soon as the border guard sees us he asked us if we’re going to vote.”

READ MORE: ‘I feel sub-human’: The faces of Donald Trump’s travel ban

READ MORE: Canadians who are dual citizens of countries affected by Trump immigration order can go to US 

Seirafi, who waited in line to vote with at least 300 people for over an hour in Bellevue, says this year’s election is crucial.

“The difference between the main candidates is stark and obvious. I believe in homegrown gradual reform movement in Iran, by the people of Iran for the people of Iran. Participating in these elections is one step towards achieving that goal.”

Rouhani is still known as a reformist despite being part of a regime where moral and social codes of the Islamic Republic remain essentially as they were from the 1979 revolution. Seirafi feels like that candidate is still his only hope.

“I know full well that he cannot deliver my ideal political system. But I’m certain that voting for him is tantamount to taking a consequential step, in the right direction, in this long journey.”

The 1979 revolution, and an eight-year war between Iran and Iraq, Seirafi says, has made him averse to radical, sudden change.

Despite a commitment by the Trudeau government to open-up relations with Tehran, the Liberal government has not faci…

  1. Sea Lion Grabbed Girl Because Of Family's Behaviour, Says Richmond Resident

    Huffingtonpost.ca - British Columbia
    05.24 / 00:17 www.huffingtonpost.ca
    RICHMOND, B.C. — Residents of a waterfront community in British Columbia are blaming human behaviour for a harrowing incident over the long weekend that saw a little girl yanked off a dock by a sea lion. A video posted online shows the adult male California sea lion grabbing the young girl's dress and pulling her backwards off the guard rail where she had been sitting on Saturday, prompting a man to jump into the water and lift her to safety. Tourists stop to take photos on a dock at St…
  2. Watchdog tosses complaint

    Castanet.net - British Columbia
    05.24 / 00:12 www.castanet.net
    The District of Summerland has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the B.C. Ombudsperson, in connection to a disagreement with a local developer. The developer behind the Lighthouse Landing subdivision in Trout Creek complained to the Ombudsperson after council named one of the streets in the…
  3. Homeless welcome in parks

    Castanet.net - British Columbia
    05.24 / 00:12 www.castanet.net
    Vernon city council has voted in favour of allowing homeless people to sleep in public areas, including Polson Park, when there are no beds at local shelters – and they don't have to pack up in the morning. Only councilllor Scott Anderson opposed the move, arguing for time limits that…
  4. Soccer community mourns former Whitecaps youth player killed in Surrey crash

    Globalnews.ca - Surrey
    05.24 / 00:09 globalnews.ca
    B.C.'s soccer community is mourning the death of a Vancouver Whitecaps youth soccer club player who died in a multi-vehicle crash in…
  5. Central Okanagan calling for public help to fight ‘perfect storm’ during mosquito season

    Globalnews.ca - British Columbia
    05.24 / 00:08 globalnews.ca
    “Just a few millimetres of water is all that’s needed for mosquito larva to sur…
  6. Why a B.C. Green-NDP coalition is no slam dunk

    Cbc.ca - British Columbia
    05.24 / 00:08 www.cbc.ca
    As British Columbians await the final results of their recent election, a coalition of groups is once again calling on the Greens and NDP to work together to form…
  7. Vancouver as likely a terror target as Manchester, expert says

    Bc.ctvnews.ca - British Columbia
    05.23 / 23:55 bc.ctvnews.ca
    Local security and terrorism experts are calling for increased safety measures at stadiums following Monday's…
  8. Buildings to be crushed

    Castanet.net - British Columbia
    05.23 / 23:47 www.castanet.net
    Parking relief in the downtown core is in sight. Demolition for city properties on the 2900 block of 29 Street, adjacent to the library, are scheduled to take place over the coming weeks. The buildings to be torn down are the closed New Dehli Restaurant and the former Open Door Learning…
  9. Flood watch in Coldstream

    Castanet.net - British Columbia
    05.23 / 23:47 www.castanet.net
    District of Coldstream officials are preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best. In anticipation of the current weather front expected to move through the area, Coldstream has activated its Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to Level 1 – Monitoring. Residents are asked to take…
  10. Homeless welcome to park

    Castanet.net - British Columbia
    05.23 / 23:47 www.castanet.net
    Vernon city council has voted in favour of allowing homeless people to sleep in public areas, including Polson Park, when there are no beds at local shelters – and they don't have to pack up in the morning. Only councilllor Scott Anderson opposed the move, arguing for time limits that…
  11. Cruise season brings tourism boom to Prince Rupert community

    Globalnews.ca - British Columbia
    05.23 / 23:43 globalnews.ca
    One northern B.C. town is seeing impressive growth thanks to cruise ship visits this…
  12. Okanagan forecast

    Globalnews.ca - British Columbia
    05.23 / 23:23 globalnews.ca
    Wednesday’s daytime high range: 11 to 1…
  13. Okanagan forecast

    Globalnews.ca - British Columbia
    05.23 / 23:23 globalnews.ca
    Tuesday, May 23, 2017  – Weather forecast update at 4pm: A cooler day is ahead for Wednesday when an upper low swings across the region. Expect the threat of showers with the cool air moving through aloft. All areas will see this threat of showers, however the northern and central valley regions will see …
  14. Hundreds of Prince George homes without power

    Myprincegeorgenow.com - Prince George
    05.23 / 23:20 myprincegeorgenow.com
    UPDATE: 4:15 PM BC Hydro crews are headed to the Hart to fix the downed wire. Workers are not yet assigned to the other outages. ORIGINAL STORY: This afternoon’s rain has caused nearly blackouts across the city. BC Hydro reports a windstorm has knocked power out for 174 homes west of Foothills Boulevard and south of Otway Road. Power went out at 3:35 PM. Crews are not yet assigned to this situation. Another 587 customers in an area east of Aberdeen Road and north of M…
  15. Federal Child Tax Credit helps lower living wage

    Mycowichanvalleynow.com - Cowichan Valley
    05.23 / 23:20 mycowichanvalleynow.com
    The Living Wage for Families Campaign has co-produced an updated report for ten B.C. communities about the need for a living wage. New, in this report, two parents in a Nanaimo family need to be making 17 dollars and 55 cents each an hour in a full time job just to meet the basic necessities. That number is 16-44 in Parksville/Qualicum and 15-96 in the Comox Valley. Deanna Ogle, spokesperson for the Campaign says those numbers would be much higher if it hadn&…
  16. Staff at small animal shelter 'blown away' by $275,000 gift

    Bc.ctvnews.ca - British Columbia
    05.23 / 23:14 bc.ctvnews.ca
    In his will, 83-year-old Daryl Mutz divided his estate between four charities benefiting children and…
  17. Granville Island report reveals bridge elevator plan

    News1130.com - British Columbia
    05.23 / 23:06 www.news1130.com
    VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A final plan to revitalize Granville Island has revealed a proposal for an elevator from Granville Street Bridge to the heart of the island below. Other plans include building a pedestrian and bike bridge across Alder Bay, expanding the public market, using the soon-to-be empty Emily Carr University as an arts…
  18. Kelowna-made baby romper caught in counterfeit conspiracy

    Cbc.ca - British Columbia
    05.23 / 23:02 www.cbc.ca
    A Kelowna-based clothing designer is trying to get knock-offs of her locally designed baby clothes off the internet: it's what one lawyer calls a trillion-dollar…
  19. Corrosive pool chemicals, herbicides behind Coquihalla shutdown

    News1130.com - British Columbia
    05.23 / 22:44 www.news1130.com
    Corrosive pool chemicals and herbicides were the biggest environmental and health concerns following a truck fire that closed the Coquihalla Hwy on Victoria…
  20. Village cleanup underway tomorrow

    Sunpeaksnews.com - British Columbia
    05.23 / 22:43 sunpeaksnews.com
    A tradition that has helped clean up the village each spring returns to Sun Peaks tomorrow. Groups will participate in the 20th annual Sun Peaks Trash Bash tomorrow, May 24, to help collect garbage and litter from around the village. Residents and visitors alike will meet at Masa’s Bar and Grill at 4 p.m. to […] The post Village cleanup underway tomorrow appeared first on Sun Peaks Independent News | S…