Canada’s spy agency is investigating what it has called multiple “credible” death threats aimed at its citizens, CBC News has revealed. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service said that it is aware of Iranian state actors who are intimidating those living in Canada who speak out against the regime in Tehran.
In a media statement to CBC News, CSIS spokesperson Eric Balsam said that Iran’s activity was a threat to Canadian “democratic” values.
He said: “CSIS is actively investigating several threats to life emanating from the Islamic Republic of Iran based on credible intelligence.
“Ultimately, these hostile activities and foreign interference undermine the security of Canada and Canadians, as well as our democratic values and sovereignty.”
It is the first time the spy agency has confirmed it is pursuing multiple ongoing investigations into what it refers to as “lethal threats to Canadians and people located in Canada” from Iran.
Iran has been rocked by protests for the past two months after Mahsa Amini, 22, died in custody having been arrested by the morality police.
Ms Amini had been accused by the force of not wearing her hijab correctly.
According to Human Rights Activists News Agency, which is run by Iranian activists, at least 341 people have been killed, including children and teenagers.
More than 15,800 have been detained with experts warning that the true figure is much higher because of the Iranian government’s attempts to stifle the publishing of real-time information online.
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Last year, the Canadian government slammed Iran’s “pattern of intimidation and foreign interference” after US authorities foiled an alleged Iranian plot to kidnap five people and take them to Iran.
In a statement, Alexander Cohen, spokesperson for Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, said that it works with allies to counter such behaviour from authoritarian states such as Iran.
He said: “We use all tools at our disposal, and will continue to work closely with our allies and partners to respond to such illegal and unacceptable behaviour by authoritarian states.”
Mr Cohen added that the Canadian government had earlier this week officially “designated the Islamic Republic of Iran as a regime that has engaged in terrorism and systematic and gross human rights violations”.