There's optimism now in Iran, but he history of the Islamic Republic is one of shattered dreams and broken promises. The fate of Mohammad Khatami and the reform movement should serve as a warning for what may be in store for the country's new president, Hasan Rouhani. Certainly, the new cabinet does not bode well for Rouhani's will or ability to "deliver" on reform, which will be hampered by the appointees in key areas such as political and economic liberties, human rights, and the nuclear issue. Worse, Rouhani may become another Khatami: the smiling and humane mask covering the grim face of an inhumane regime.
The sanctions noose around Iran fully tightened at the beginning of July as the European Union joined the United States to impose a total embargo on all purchases of Iranian oil and place severe restrictions on the country's central bank. As the likelihood of war increases it is important to ensure that the nuclear issue does not overshadow human rights concerns.
China and Russia are seen as the worst offenders when it comes to cyber attacks, but Iran is close behind. How is it that a country such as Iran has a cyber-warfare unit with a staff of 2,400 and a budget of $76 million, and Ottawa has only allocated $95 million for our country's defence against this new form of attack?
It is not unreasonable for Canadians to demand more stringent security checks to ensure that people seeking to enter the country do not have nefarious intentions. The Economist reported recently that Iran might be constructing its nuclear facilities with ultra-high performance concrete. The article also mentioned that a graduate of Tehran University is currently studying the molecular structure of cement at the University of Ottawa.