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The Iranian regime remains the “biggest threat to global peace” as it “oppresses with terror at home and sponsors it abroad,” Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said Wednesday in a speech, The Globe and Mail reported.
Mr. Baird, who cut Canada’s diplomatic ties with Tehran in 2012, warned that the ruling regime should not be trusted.
It would be nice “to believe that Iran is genuinely committed to positive change,” he said, but “we do not have the luxury to be naive, nor do the Iranian people, who have suffered for far too long.”
Human rights abuses have worsened under the supposedly more moderate government elected last year in Tehran, Mr. Baird said, calling the Interior Minister the “Minister of Murder.”
As for Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran insists has no military purpose, the minister was openly scornful. “In Canada, we do things differently. We build our nuclear reactors close to the electricity grid and we don’t manufacture medical isotopes under 300 feet of rock,” he said, referring to the widely separated, remote and deeply buried nuclear facilities in Iran.
“A nuclear Iran is not only a threat to the United States, it’s a threat to Canada, and a threat to Israel and our allies,” he said.
The minister dismissed as bygone the era of Canadian foreign relations when policy was driven by “testing the temperature of those around the table and landing somewhere not too hot, not too cool.” That’s relativism, not leadership, and “the easy way out,” he said.