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Ex-Canadian ambassador condemns cutting ties with Iran
As the Canadian government closes its embassy in Iran, a former ambassador to the country is questioning why Canada is cutting ties at a time when the international community needs more information about the country, not less.
John Mundy, a retired Canadian diplomat who was posted in Iran in 2007, said ending communication with the country could be a strategic misstep that undermines Canada’s role as an international player in the international peacekeeping effort preventing Iran from acquiring and deploying nuclear weapons.
“It’s a grave step and it can’t easily be reversed,” said Mundy, a visiting associate at the Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa. “I know from experience it’s very, very tough to understand what’s going on in the country.”
Mundy has said it seems Prime Minister Stephen Harper is priming Canadians to support a military strike against Iran.
“This is the first time in decades that a Canadian prime minister, Liberal or Conservative, appears to be advocating approaches that reduce diplomatic opportunities for peace during an international crisis,” he wrote in an editorial column earlier this year. In the column, he argued Canada should remain faithful to the system of collective security under the UN charter and “tone down the rhetoric.”
Ending diplomatic relations almost guarantees Canada’s internationally respected “middle-power diplomacy” skills cannot be used to solve what is being described as the biggest threat to international security today, said Mundy.
“Canada has a stake as a member of the international community, and a country with some influence in the world, to play into the (Iran) issue constructively and help move toward a peaceful resolution,” he said.