Thursday, January 20, 2011

Canada: Iranian Embassy Protests Screening at National Library and Archives in Ottawa - Response


A pre-release screening of IRANIUM, a new documentary film exposing the dangers posed by a nuclear Iran, at Canada's National Library and Archives in Ottawa yesterday, was cancelled following threats of protest and the deposit of a suspicious package at the building. Requests to cancel the event also came from the Iranian Embassy.

The National Archives building was closed down by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in response to complaints and threats of protests. Emergency vehicles and a HAZMAT unit were later dispatched to the building.

"I am disappointed that Library & Archives Canada chose not to show the film tonight due to threats of violence," stated Canada's Minister of Heritage James Moore. "The Iranian Embassy will not dictate to the Government of Canada which films will or will not be shown in Canada."

"Iranium is quickly turning into the film Iran's leaders don't want you to see. That Iranian leaders would try to stifle free speech in North America perfectly displays the distinct difference in values instilled in Iran versus the West," said Alex Traiman, Director of Iranium. "Announcements about the film have already appeared on pro-regime websites in Farsi.

"Attempts from Iran's Embassy to cancel the screening demonstrate that the Iranian regime is afraid of the documentary's content and the repercussions they may face as Americans and Canadians learn more about the Iranian nuclear threat. It also goes to show how fragile the current leadership structure in Iran actually is," Traiman added.

The film documents the statements and actions of Iranian leaders since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, including the buildup of Iran's nuclear program through the Presidential Elections of 2009.

An exclusive clip of the film can be viewed here:

The National Archives event was to be the first major screening of Iranium in Canada. The film is premiering in the United States on February 8, with a nationwide screening event.

The film's flagship premiere event will take place on Capitol Hill, hosted by House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). On the same date, the film will be screened in AMC theaters in select cities and in community centers across the country. The film will also be made available for free online streaming to the first 50,000 registrants at

Narrated by Academy Award Nominee and Emmy Award Winning Iranian actress, Shohreh Aghdashloo, the film utilizes rare footage of Iranian leaders, and interviews with 25 leading politicians, Iranian dissidents, and experts on Middle East policy, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation.