Ottawa, ON- James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake, issued the following statement addressing the Iranian news reports of a request by a Canadian Parliamentary delegation to visit the Islamic Republic:

“Reports coming out of Iran claiming that an Iranian-Canadian Parliamentary Friendship Group has requested permission for a group of Canadian MPs to visit Tehran are completely false. This report was even perpetuated by the Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham.

“These reports are entirely fabricated. There is no existence of a Canada-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group here in the Parliament of Canadian. There is also no request from Parliament for an official visit to Tehran.

“As a matter of fact and contrary to this Iranian news report, the only parliamentary group that exists in Canada is the Canadian Parliamentarians for Human Rights and Democracy in Iran, of which I am a proud co-chair. I, along with the members of this parliamentary group, would never entertain the idea of legitimizing the current Iranian regime with a visit to Tehran. The Islamic Republic of Iran continues their attack on human rights violations, persecute political activists, sponsors of terrorism, refuse to recognize the State of Israel and continue to aspirate to create nuclear weapons.

“Again, I must reiterate that these news reports are a hoax perpetuated by the Iranian Government. There is no existence of a Canada-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group and there has been no request from the Parliament of Canada for an official visit to Tehran.”