Montreal honour for urologist postponed after condemnation from Iran diaspora

OTTAWA — A Montreal-based organization says it will postpone a plan to honour a Tehran physician who has been accused of spreading COVID-19 disinformation and upholding the regime's sexist attitudes.

The Société Internationale d'Urologie had invited Dr. Nasser Simforoosh to visit Montreal and to receive a distinguished service award on Nov. 10.

The award had been criticized by a group of Canadian physicians with roots in Iran.

The organization issued a statement on Saturday saying it would not grant Dr. Simforoosh the award until it has investigated what it calls the "significant but unsubstantiated allegations."

Simforoosh, who studied in the United States, leads the urology department at the Shahid Labbafinejad Medical Centre in Tehran, a major teaching and research hospital.

In early 2021, Simforoosh signed an open letter urging the Iranian regime to ban the import of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, arguing that Western technology was substandard, alleging the U.S. has bad motives for providing the shots and echoing disproven claims about gene editing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2022.

The Canadian Press