Tories pressing for more details from allies on Iran nuclear deal

Foreign affairs minister released a statement expressing skepticism about the West’s deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program


OTTAWA – A skeptical Harper government will be pressing some of Canada’s closest allies about their deal to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The Canadian Press has learned that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will likely discuss the Iran agreement this weekend while he and President Barack Obama are in Panama for the Summit of the Americas.

Similarly, sources say Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson will discuss the issue next week when G7 foreign ministers meet in the northern German city of Lubeck.

Related: The deal with Iran tackles its nukes. It ignores everything else.

Nicholson has already released a statement expressing skepticism about the deal reached by six countries, including the U.S., with Iran to curb its nuclear program and prevent it from developing atomic weapons.

Israel opposes the accord because it says it will not stop Iran from clandestinely pursuing a bomb. The deal is to be finalized in June.

A senior government official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Iran would be one of the top international security issues that Harper will discuss at the summit.

It wasn’t clear yet whether Harper would have a formal bilateral meeting with Obama because the details of the prime minister’s itinerary were still being finalized before his Friday departure.

Harper’s office had no comment.

Related: Obama: Iran could build nuke quickly after 13 years

In a statement, the U.S. embassy touted its close ties to Canada.

“We routinely hold discussions which include exchanges on matters of global importance, to include Iran, ISIL, and Ukraine,” it said.

A second government official, also not authorized to speak publicly, said Nicholson planned to raise the Iran deal with his G7 counterparts and expects it to be a major topic of discussion during their meetings next week.

Nicholson will express Canada’s “gratitude” for the efforts of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China — plus Germany to reach a framework agreement, the source said.

The deal calls for the eventual lifting of sanctions on Iran in exchange for international monitors being granted access to its nuclear facilities. The deal also calls for sanctions to be quickly reinstated if Iran violates any of the specifics of the deal.

Nicholson will seek clarification on the nuts and bolts of the agreement.

“It’s not like we’re completely trying to shut it down,” said one source, “but certainly we want to see the fine print — we want more details.”

Last week, Nicholson reiterated Canada’s long-held view that Iran can only be judged by its actions, stressing that all diplomatic means must be used to prevent it from getting an atomic bomb.

Canada formally severed relations with Iran in September 2012.

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Tories pressing for more details from allies on Iran nuclear deal

  1. Harp being a busybody again….if the other countries had wanted him involved in this, they would have asked him.

  2. Seriously, what’s the point of government getting involved in this deal? Just to make Israel happy and ask for more support, or is it just to make Iran-Canada relationship impossible forever?
    Cut of diplomatic relationship with Iran has already had a deep impact on the presence of Canada in middle east. Also, there are a lot of dual citizens living here that have to deal with all the inconveniences this move has caused. Note that Canada is the only country in the world who cut ties with Iran. Was that really necessary?
    And what the government is really hoping to get from meddling with an issue already so complicated?

  3. Harper just won’t give up on the Keystone pipeline — this is nothing more than his continued effort to gain favour with the US congress. His ‘yesman’ Nicholson will duck and dive for him at the G7 but he has about as much global influence as a fart in a windstorm.

  4. It dos not matter what the Tories want – someday Iran will carry forward on its promise to destroy Israel – and in the process the world might very well see more than a few nukes used in and on other countries

    This islamic government is to be trusted as much as the US president oblahbla – and that is “not at all”

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