Canada’s refugee board has ruled that Majid Iranmanesh cannot stay in the country because of his high level connections to the Iranian government, one of nine Iranians who now face possible deportation.
The 54-year-old was director general of Iran’s Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology. He entered Canada using a visa issued in Turkey.
Iranmanesh is one of nine alleged senior members of the Iranian regime who face possible deportation. He said in the hearing that he arrived in Canada on May 29, 2023, with the intention of conducting research at the University of Victoria for one year. The Canada Border Services Agency has said it was investigating 141 such cases. Thirty-eight have been closed without action.
At a hearing on January 11, Iranmanesh denied holding a senior position in the government, and said he wanted to return to Iran as soon as possible. In his testimony, he acknowledged working for the Iranian government since 2017. He admitted that he was the director general of administration of information technology at the Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology until 2020, and since then he has been a consultant working on contract.
The Canada Border Services Agency argued he “continues to be a high valued senior official” in the Iranian government and should be deported. Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada member Mary Heyes agreed, ruling that Iranmanaesh served in the top half of the hierarchy of the regime, and was therefore a senior official.
The Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology oversees operations of the Centre for Innovation and Technology Cooperation (CITC), which has been sanctioned by the United States and United Kingdom for supporting Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. “The Center for Innovation and Technology Cooperation is in a position to support a range of Iran’s weapons of mass destruction and military procurement objectives,” according to the US Treasury.