Canada signals openness to restoring Iran diplomatic ties

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed an openness to restoring diplomatic ties with Iran, four years after Canada closed its embassy in Tehran, reports said.

Such a move would be a reversal of the foreign policy set by the previous Tory administration, which had vowed to keep its sanctions regime against Iran after a preliminary deal on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program in 2013.

Trudeau said Iran had made ‘significant movement towards respecting international expectations’ regarding its nuclear program, Western media reported.

‘That is something positive and I expect there will be (diplomatic) links now between Canada and Iran,’ he said.

‘We will certainly be discussing that further at a cabinet meeting in the coming weeks,’ he added, according to the AFP report.

Canada broke diplomatic ties with Iran in September 2012.

At the time, then foreign affairs minister John Baird did not cite a specific incident for the breakdown in relations but issued a strongly worded attack.

In July, Iran and global powers reached a deal in Vienna that saw sanctions lifted this weekend.

On Sunday, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion told the Globe and Mail newspaper that Ottawa would decide ‘in a timely fashion’ whether to also lift sanctions in order to allow Canadian companies to join US and EU firms rushing to do business in Iran.

‘Because if other countries move before us, it’s not a way to help our industry,’ he said, adding that Canadian sanctions alone would not be very effective.

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