Nazanin Afshin-Jam was recently the subject of an offensive tweet from the account of a prominent Iranian-American journalist Hooman Majd.
The online attack came as Afshin-Jam, a human rights activist and wife of Defence Minister Peter MacKay, was making headlines over her calls for the closure of the Iranian embassy in Ottawa.
“F***ing a Canadian minister doesn’t make you Canadian, azizam. Come back to papa...” the July 13 tweet, which has since been deleted, read.
Majd, the grandson of an Ayatollah, has served as a translator for former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami and current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on visits to the UN in New York. The Amazon listing for his most recent book, "The Ayatollahs' Democracy. An Iranian Challenge", touts his "privileged access to the Iranian power elite."
Majd has claimed on Twitter that his account, and an email address, were hacked and that the message did not originate with him.
Various Twitter users, however, have argued that the fact the tweet originated from the same application regularly used by Mahd and that it was so quickly deleted, only to be followed by more tweets about Afshin-Jam, suggests the account was not hacked. You can see the Twitter debate in the slideshow at the bottom of this story.
The deleted tweet from Majd's account also linked to an APTN report on Afshin-Jam asking a former Manitoba chief to cut ties with Iran.
Afshin-Jam has been a prominent critic of the Iranian regime. Her family fled her country of birth in 1979 after the Islamic Revolution there, but not before her father was jailed and tortured.
More recently, Afshin-Jam has co-authored a book about her fight to free Nazanin Fatehi, a Kurdish-Iranian teen who faced execution after stabbing a man who tried to rape her. Fatehi was released by the regime, but has since disappeared.
Her calls for the closure of Iran's embassy last week came amid an allegation that the Islamic regime was using the office as a base to recruit Canadians. "The embassy in Ottawa sometimes uses cultural events as an excuse to spread their own propaganda," said Afshin-Jam, according to The National Post.
Despite her criticism of the Iranian government, Afshin-Jam said she was shocked after TD Bank shut down a number of Iranian-Canadians' accounts last week.