Canada’s first Afghan minister now says she was born in Iran

TORONTO (AP) — A Canadian lawmaker touted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as Canada’s first Afghan-born cabinet minister says she recently learned from her mother that she was born in Iran.

Maryam Monsef, the 30-year-old minister of democratic reform, said Thursday that because her refugee story resonated with Canadians she is taking the time to clear up misconceptions. She issued a statement following a Globe and Mail story.

Monsef and her family came to Canada as refugees in 1996 when she was 11. U.S. President Barack Obama, in an address to Parliament earlier this year, made a point of noting Monsef’s Afghan birthplace as a sign of Canada’s inclusiveness.

Monsef says her mother told her she did not think her birthplace mattered as she was born to Afghan parents.

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