Let’s hope PM fol­lows through on Iran vote

The Expositor (Brantford) - - OPINION -

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau made a sur­pris­ing pol­icy re­ver­sal on Tues­day af­ter­noon when he rose along­side the Lib­eral cab­i­net to vote in favour of a Con­ser­va­tive mo­tion con­demn­ing the Ira­nian regime.

The mo­tion, put for­ward by Con­ser­va­tive MP Garnett Genuis, called for the govern­ment to cease restor­ing re­la­tions with Iran, called for the re­lease of Cana­di­ans de­tained in Iran and sought to have the Is­lamic Revo­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps ( IRGC) des­ig­nated a ter­ror­ist en­tity.

It’s a com­plete about- face from Trudeau’s pre­vi­ous pol­icy of cosy­ing up to Iran, some­thing he’d even cam­paigned on. For the past two years, the Lib­er­als have faced Con­ser­va­tive op­po­si­tion as well as lob­by­ing from Ira­nian dis­si­dents to not fol­low through on this pledge.

The Lib­er­als ap­pear to have taken them up on that of­fer. And it was the right thing to do.

While the Ira­nian peo­ple de­serve lib­erty and eco­nomic pros­per­ity, they are not get­ting that while living un­der the cur­rent harsh regime. They are the first who will say this. Ira­ni­ans are now fre­quently tak­ing to the streets to protest their own govern­ment.

Many of them sup­ported U. S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s de­ci­sion to step away from the nu­clear deal, which brought cash in­fu­sions for the IRGC but not the reg­u­lar folks.

It’s un­clear ex­actly why Trudeau made this de­ci­sion and why he’s made it now. A govern­ment of­fi­cial told the Na­tional Post it had to do with the de­ten­tion of Cana­di­anIra­nian cit­i­zen Maryam Mombeini.

It could also be be­cause Trump has urged other coun­tries to get on the same page as the U. S. and to stop their com­pa­nies from do­ing busi­ness with Iran.

What­ever the rea­son, Trudeau’s vote was a wise one. Sim­i­larly to how for­mer PM Brian Mul­roney de­clined to do busi­ness with South Africa while un­der apartheid, Canada should not en­gage with Iran as if they are on equal foot­ing.

That said, Pub­lic Safety Canada has sug­gested to the Toronto Sun that the govern­ment may not in fact be list­ing the IRGC as a ter­ror­ist en­tity.

This calls into ques­tion why Trudeau voted the way he did and whether this ges­ture — which is all a mo­tion vote amounts to — will trans­late into ac­tion.

Let’s hope Trudeau fol­lows through.

Canada should not en­gage with Iran as if they are on equal foot­ing.”

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