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Murder Of Iranian Dissident In Toronto Raises Questions About Iran's Footprint In Canada

 Mohammad Mehdi Amin Sadeghieh--Undated
Mohammad Mehdi Amin Sadeghieh--Undated

York Regional Police identified Mohammad Mehdi Amin Sadeghieh as the victim of a suspected homicide. The 58-year-old, who went by Mehdi Amin, was found dead in his townhouse last Wednesday afternoon, a police spokesman said.

Police have not identified a suspected motive in Amin's killing, and a spokesman would only say on Friday that investigators will look at "everything."

"Investigators will take any piece of information, any little tip, anything, and investigate that thoroughly," Sgt. Andy Pattenden said in an interview.

"But as far as what they have looked at or what connections they've drawn or anything with regards to motive — (that) is something that we wouldn't release as part of an ongoing investigation."

Investigators are particularly interested in video footage from Amin's townhouse complex, where Pattenden said closed-circuit cameras are plentiful. They also want to know what happened to Amin's vehicle, a black Honda CRV, which was not found at the crime scene.

Amin, a construction worker and former member of the Iranian-Canadian Congress, has been active on social media in recent years. He attended political rallies against the Islamic Republic, calling for the overthrow of the clergy-dominated establishment in Iran.

Hamed Ismaeilion, the spokesman for the Association of Victims of Flight 752, said that he had recently received death threats.

Toronto police have not yet released a report on the possible motive, manner, and perpetrators involved in the murder.

Still, in a post on his Facebook page on Thursday, October 22, the Toronto-based dentist, Hamed Esmaeilion wrote, "If the footprints of a foreign government found in the murder of Mehdi Amin, it would appear that the Islamic Republic's Greco-Roman experts are on the move again.

"Greco-Roman experts” refers to the Iranian hitmen who assassinate Iranian dissidents across the globe.

Esmaeilion, who has played a pivotal role in informing and coordinating the families of the victims of the Ukrainian plane crash in recent months, says he has seen "hateful messages, suspicious cars, strange communications, and death threats", but he is not scared of confronting the killers hired by Iran.

Kaveh Shahrooz, a Toronto-based lawyer and human rights activist who knew Amin, called for a thorough investigation, saying many in the Iranian-Canadian community feel unsafe.

"I hope that the authorities take the concerns of the community seriously. I hope they do investigate the political angle," Shahrooz said in an interview.

"Even if it turns out to be that this was not politically motivated, I hope that our security agencies understand the fear that we live with. Because you know, we're fighting back against a regime that has no hesitation in using violence against its critics either at home or abroad."

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has not yet responded to the allegations. However, the Iranian government has played an active role in assassinating and threatening dissidents abroad over the past four decades.

Based on the data collected by the U.S. Department of State, the Iranian regime has been responsible for "as many as 360 targeted assassinations in other countries" since coming to power in 1979.

"Iranian diplomatic personnel has repeatedly been implicated in assassinations abroad, as evidenced by arrest warrants, judicial and police investigations, intelligence services, and witness reports," a fact sheet said in May 2020 on the State Department website.