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5/24/17

Canada: What does Canada get out of restoring diplomatic ties with Iran? (and opposing Trump policies)

Justin Trudeau and Hassan Roubani
believe in open and frank dialogue
It's been almost two years since Iran began to emerge from its international isolation after signing a deal with world powers to ensure its nuclear program is "peaceful." It's been almost as long since Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister on a platform that included restoring diplomatic ties with the country.

Last week, we learned Canadian officials are in Tehran for the first time since the previous Conservative government broke off relations with Iran nearly five years ago.

Since coming to power, the Liberals have been careful to remain critical of Iran's human rights violations, and have  reiterated Canada's opposition to its support for listed terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.

But Canada has also suggested engaging with Iran may change its behaviour, including on human rights and Iran's habit of jailing and abusing Canadian citizens and residents.

"We believe that open and frank dialogue, especially when we disagree, is the best way to effectively address security issues, hold Iran to account on human rights and advance consular cases," Alex Lawrence, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told CBC.

Western nations, including Canada, have been engaging or trying to engage with Iran since 2015.

Note EU-Digest: It is interesting to note that Canada, as is also the case for most EU Countries, is not in-line at all with the thinking of the Trump Administration.  In particular as it relates to their views on foreign policy (specifically Iran), global warming and the handling of Middle East "crises management".  

EU-Digest

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