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Response to Canadian Foreign Minister Baird's statement on Iran in UN

Source: Canadian Institute of Persian Studies (CIPS)

Oct 2, 2013

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird

We are concerned and criticise Canadian Foreign Minister Mr. John Baird and the Government of Canada for its unclear and questionable support for ongoing inhuman sanctions against the people of Iran and for comparing Iran with Nazi Germany as stated this week at the UN General Assembly. In addition, we are concerned with Minister Baird's unconstructive statements calling for demonstrable actions by Iran before passing judgement on their true intentions regarding its nuclear program.

Iran has an extensive track record of cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency when it comes to its legal and rightful nuclear program as a member of IAEA. For many years, President Hassan Rouhani has been at the centre of these efforts and has openly encouraged diplomacy and constructive negotiations as the best way to form mutual trust on Iran's nuclear capabilities. While the Iranian president's words represent a thoughtful signal of a change in Iran's policy, it is a diplomatic malpractice to equate the great nation of Iran with Nazi Germany, discourage the growing dialogue by a continuation of inhuman sanctions and discouraging statements. The responsibility remains on the Government of Canada to demonstrate through meaningful and measureable actions its willingness to change its unconstructive diplomacy.

Canada's position, offered with unfortunate imprecision by Minister Baird, is not reflective of Canada's long tradition at the UN of promoting nuclear non-proliferation, robust multilateralism, and human rights. We anticipate it will also not meet with cross-party support. We consider Minister Baird as a foreign minister for all Canadians including Canadian-Iranians. This sort of action is not assisting Canadian-Iranians and the people of Iran in regards to achieving their goals for establishing a respectful and friendly relation between the two nations. We hope to see a more constructive and progressive contribution of Canada on this issue in the near future.

With Best Regards

Bahman Jeldi, PhD
Canadian Institute of Persian Studies (CIPS)

As the non-partisan advocacy arm of the Canadian Society for Persian Studies, the Canadian Institute of Persian Studies (CIPS) serves as the voice of the scholars of Canadian-Iranian community.

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