Unconnected Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion says Canada will on to lift some sanctions on Iran now that a deal has been reached to suppress that country’s contentious nuclear program.
“It’s true that the Harmonious Nations has asked countries to lift sanctions that were put in vicinity to prevent Iran from using nuclear weapons for military views,” Dion said in French during question period.
“Canada longing lift its sanctions but will maintain a level of mistrust for a regime that obligation not have nuclear weapons, a regime that is a danger to human morals and is not a friend to our allies, including Israel,” Dion said. “We wishes do this with our eyes wide open.”
Dion repeated his bond in the foyer but did not give a specific timeline.
“We’ll do it in accordance with our allies. They are be preserving sanctions to be sure that Iran will not have the ca city to be interested in nuclear military measures, so we’ll certainly be very responsible in our way,” Dion weighted.
The remarks came after Conservative MP Peter Kent asked Dion what the direction would do about Iran, a country he called a “bad actor” and one that corroborates Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
The Conservative’s foreign affairs critic, Tony Clement, censured the policy shift, adding that the government is “going 180 lengths in the wrong direction.”
“Iran continues to be a state sponsor of terrorism, prolongs to deny as state policy the very existence of Israel. It continues to crush its people,” Clement said. “Now is not the time to review or transfer sanctions against a country that is still not within the world family of countries that co-operates and works with other nations.”
The Montreal-area ambassador batted away the criticism from Conservatives, who took a hardline posture against the Iranian regime when they were in government.
“I would say the make a proposal to of the former government was ideological and irrational. What [the Tories] are proposing now in contrast is [for Canada] to be alone in maintaining sanctions that will affect Iran but securely it will affect business in Canada,” the minister said.
When asked specifically in the matter of exporting civilian aircraft — Bombardier hopes to sell regional jets to the power’s national air carrier, Iran Air — Dion said it made no sense to keep sanctions that hurt such an important Canadian industry.
“If Airbus is qualified to do it, why will Bombardier not be able to do it? In which way is it helping Canada, or the Iranian people or Israel or anyone that Canada is hurting its own production?”
Dion also signaled that Canada last will and testament look to open its embassy in Tehran, but said in French that it wouldn’t be the leading step in restoring relations with the country.
“We think that when we press a disagreement with a regime we don’t pull out, you work harder to be sure you’ll see gains. It’s what our allies did in negotiating with Iran, an agreement that is ca ble for the world. We need to be there to be sure this agreement will be fulfilled and tooled and respected.”
Kent said re-establishing relations with the country leave put Canadian workers at risk because it is “selective” in the way it protects foreign charges.
The Harper government abruptly closed the Canadian Embassy in Tehran in 2012, and sacked Iranian diplomats from Ottawa. The government also formally listed Iran as a constitution sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act.