Tuesday, 15 October, 2019

Trudeau Expresses Desire to Reopen Canada’s Embassy in Tehran

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau reiterated his desire to see Canada’s embassy reopen in Tehran, but said that re-establishing relations with Iran is a long process that is just beginning.

Trudeau made the remarks Monday at a global town hall hosted by The Huffington Post Canada, dedicated entirely to foreign policy.

Trudeau was asked about his government’s decision to lift some sanctions against Iran and start the process of restoring diplomatic relations that were severed by the past government of Stephen Harper.

Conservatives have blasted the move as irresponsible, and have suggested it sends the wrong signal to a allegedly dangerous country.

“I think Canada is sending exactly the right signal,” Trudeau answered, adding that Canada still needs to engage with nations that represent a threat to global or regional security.

“You need to have opportunities to put pressure, to tell them where they’re going wrong, to tell them how to start going right,” he said.

The prime minister called the nuclear deal hammered out by P5+1 countries — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany — an “excellent step”.

However, he claimed that there’s more work to be done to address the country’s state sponsorship of terrorism and oppression of human rights.

“You don’t get to do that by crossing your arms and shouting indiscriminately and hoping they hear,” he said.

Canada broke off ties with Iran in September 2012 and closed the embassy in Tehran, citing concern for the safety of Canadian diplomats and staff. Iranian diplomats in Canada were also expelled from Ottawa.

Earlier in February, Canada said it was lifting some sanctions against Iran, including a ban on financial services, imports and exports, thereby allowing companies such as plane maker Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) to compete against rivals.

“I would hope that Canada would be able to reopen its mission, as I understand it, there were security concerns that led to the closing of the mission, but I’m fairly certain that there are ways to re-engage” Trudeau told a CBC interviewer in June 2015t as the United States and other world powers were concluding a nuclear deal with Iran that would reduce economic sanctions and open the country to renewed trade.

There’s a noteworthy Iranian-Canadian community scattered across Canada, which has nurtured prominent artists, scientists, scholars, businesspeople, entrepreneurs, journalists and even politicians who maintain close relations with the fellow citizens living in Iran, Huffington Post reported.

According to the 2011 Census of Canada, there are 163,290 residents of Canada who are recognized as Iranian by ancestry. This minority is relatively insignificant in terms of numbers when put against the total 34-million-strong population of Canada; however, many of them hold remarkable positions in academia, cultural institutions, business conglomerates and even the federal government at different levels, and this renders the Iranian-Canadian community an important part of Canadian life.

Now, Iranians living in Canada and their compatriots at home are wishing for a quick and immediate normalization of the relations between Tehran and Ottawa.

Photo: The Canadian prime minister speaks during a global town hall as moderator Althia Raj looks on. (Photo: Tim Fraser/HuffPost Canada)

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1 Comment

  1. BK

    March 9, 2016 at 5:48 am

    That’s awesome

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