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Prisoner of Tehran book club opens with John Mundy discussion

The online Book Club is back.

Readers chose the book Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat. We've had two weeks to read and think about it. Discussion starts on Monday with a special guest.

I've invited John Mundy, an expert on the modern history and culture of Iran, to help us explore the background to Nemat's bestselling and controversial memoir.

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Mundy, Canada's former Ambassador to Iran, will take your questions on the book club blog beginning at 2 p.m. EST on Monday March 5.

A senior diplomat, Mundy was in Iran during a very troubled time in Canada's relations with that country. After his appointment in 2007, he travelled throughout the country, meeting Iranian people from all walks of life. At the end of that year, when attempts to agree upon a reciprocal exchange of ambassadors between Iran and Canada failed, he was expelled by President Ahmadinejad. Diplomatic relations between our two countries were down-graded.

Mundy worked for the Federal Public Service for more than 30 years. Before retiring in 2008, he held senior diplomatic appointments in Trinidad and Tobago, Iran and Australia. A frequent commentator in The Globe and Mail and other media outlets, Mundy is writing a book about his experiences in Iran.

In addition to reading Nemat's memoir, Mundy suggests seeing the film A Separation for a look at how the contemporary legal system affects ordinary people's lives in Iran. The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film at the Academy Awards last Sunday.

Happy reading and watching. I'm looking forward to our conversation on Monday.

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