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VIEWS: Why did the Harper government cut diplomatic relations with Iran?

Tony Burman

Tony Burman, the former head of Al Jazeera English and CBC News, writes in the Toronto Star, “Why would Canada indulge in a meaningless poke in the eye that will only be dismissed by Tehran and serve to push the Canadian government even further to the extremes of diplomatic irrelevance? …After decades of being one of the world’s most respected ‘honest brokers’ on Middle East issues, what in God’s name has slipped into the water supply in Canada to explain such a change? …Contrary to the Canadian government’s statement on Friday, it is unimaginable that its actions against Iran will affect that country’s policy regarding Syria or its nuclear program. Instead, its priority seems to be on the Israeli issues. It is not surprising that Canada’s actions were warmly welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. …Canadians have every right to ask its government how it believes a conflict (meaning Israel attacking Iran, with or without US support) will evolve. However, reflecting on its recent actions, we may have to wait until our government checks with its new foreign minister (meaning Netanyahu) in Jerusalem before we get some answers.”

John Mundy

John Mundy

Additionally, John Mundy, a retired Canadian diplomat who was posted in Iran in 2007, is quoted in another Toronto Star article saying, “(Ending communication with Iran is) a grave step and it can’t easily be reversed. I know from experience it’s very, very tough to understand what’s going on in the country.”

In February, Mundy wrote in the Globe and Mail that the Harper government should, “Inform Israel that Canada wants a negotiated solution to the crisis and will not support unilateral military action. Our support for Israel should not be unconditional.”

The articles are at http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1253310–burman-what-has-prompted-canada-s-move-against-iran, http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1253232–ex-canadian-ambassador-questions-cutting-ties-with-iran and http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/tone-down-the-rhetoric-on-iran/article548469/.