Without reading any of Hoder's criticisms of Khalaji, however, any thinking person can see that working for WINEP, a hawkish pro-Israel think tank, means working against the interests of Iran, not only its government but also its people, and automatically earns anyone who does so a bad reputation among those, Iranians above all, who are opposed to Washington's dangerous campaign against Iran, the campaign whose means range from media propaganda, covert actions, economic sanctions, to outright threats of war.
To take just one example, last month, the US government, against the objections of such nations as Russia and China, established new unilateral sanctions against Iran's Revolutionary Guards among other things. That is a policy that Khalaji advocated: "The IRGC is a major obstacle to democratization and economic privatization. Imposing sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards could help promote democratic reform and stability in the region" (Mehdi Khalaji, "Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, Inc.," 17 August 2007).
Unfortunately for Derakhshan, Canada's libel law is said to be "the least protective of free speech in the English-speaking world":
Why do plaintiffs outside Canada bring libel suits against non-Canadian defendants such as the New York Post and the Washington Post in our courts? The answer is that they likely have good legal advisers who correctly tell them that Canadian libel laws favour plaintiffs. For all the lofty quotes about free speech in Canadian jurisprudence, the reality is that our libel laws are the least protective of free speech in the English-speaking world. (Dan Burnett, "Canada Should Reform Its Antiquated Libel Laws," The Lawyers Weekly, 27 October 2006)Everything that Derakhshan has written about Khalaji is likely to be found to be a "truth" or a "fair comment," as these terms are explained by Warren Sheffer and Marian Hebb in "Publish Safely! Know Your Libel Basics" (2006). And yet, by merely forcing Derakhshan, an individual who is unlikely to have a deep pocket, into a legal battle, Khalaji's lawsuit has a chilling effect on urgent political discussion necessary to stop Washington from doing to Iran what it has done to Iraq.
See, also, Yoshie Furuhashi, "Still Waiting for Godot," Critical Montages, 9 November 2007; and Richard Seymour, "Tough Times for Iranian Blogger," Lenin's Tomb, 15 November 2007.