Mackay posts wedding photo on Facebook

Newlywed defence minister Peter Mackay, once known as Canada's most eligible bachelor, made public a picture of his marriage to Nazanin Afshin-Jam, on his official Facebook page Saturday morning.
Defence Minister Peter Mackay and Nazanin Afshin-Jam were married on Jan. 4, 2012 in Mexico. (Facebook)

Newlywed defence minister Peter Mackay, once known as Canada's most eligible bachelor, made public a picture of his marriage to Nazanin Afshin-Jam on his official Facebook page Saturday morning.

In an album titled Our Wedding Photograph, a jubilant Mackay and Afshin-Jam are seen all-smiles, holding hands, walking down the stairs of a chapel in Mexico where they were married last week.

Although no other details have been provided, the one picture has elicited mostly glowing reviews of Afshin-Jam's dress, and congratulatory messages for the beaming couple.

Mackay made the big announcement on his constituency website last Wednesday.

"I am overjoyed to announce Nazanin Afshin-Jam and I married at a private ceremony surrounded by family and loved ones today," wrote Mackay.

"Since coming into my life many of you have met Nazanin on her many visits to Nova Scotia. She is the most important person in my life and over the coming months, Nazanin and I look forward to spending more time at home in Central Nova and sharing our happiness with all of you."

The couple reportedly tied the knot at a private ceremony in Mexico. Friends said MacKay proposed over the summer.

Afshin-Jam, who fled Tehran with her family as a young child, was crowned first runner-up at the 2003 Miss World pageant, and has since been known in Vancouver as a vocal campaigner for human rights issues, having co-founded the organization Stop Child Executions, which tries to draw attention to the young people who are on death row in Iran.

She garnered wide attention and acclaim in 2003 for her successful campaign to stop the killing of Nazanin Mahabad Fatehi, an Iranian teenager who was sentenced to death by stoning for killing one of three men who were trying to rape her and her niece.

MacKay's new wife speaks fluent English, French and Persian, and holds degrees in international relations and political science.

Afshin-Jam also has acted in bit television and film parts, with roles in the Cold Squad TV series and a small credit in the movie sequel Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed in 2004.

'Canada's Sexiest Male MP' for years

The newlyweds reportedly met in 2004 when Afshin-Jam visited Ottawa to speak about human rights abuses.

MacKay, 46, has until now been known as one of Ottawa's most eligible bachelors, having been ranked as "Canada's Sexiest Male MP" by The Hill Times for several years.

Before finally meeting his match in the 32-year-old beauty contestant turned activist, MacKay was previously tied romantically to some high-profile and high-powered women.

MacKay has also been engaged previously to Jana Juginovic, who was a CTV executive, and dated Lisa Michelle Merrithew, daughter of former Mulroney-era cabinet minister Gerald Merrithew.

He also once dated fellow Tory MP Belinda Stronach, although the pair endured a very public split when Stronach dumped him in 2005 to cross the House floor to join Paul Martin's Liberals.

Gossip at one time also linked MacKay to former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. But in her recent memoir "No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington," Rice wrote that while she found MacKay charming, there was no truth to rumours they had a fling.