Spokesman: Practical measures needed to resume Iran-Canada ties

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s interest in resuming ties with Tehran, but said Ottawa needs to take practical steps to this end.

“The Canadian government should show in practice that it intends to establish equal relations with Iran that is based on non-interference and mutual respect,” Jaberi Ansari said on Wednesday, addressing a press conference in Tehran.

He underlined that if Canada’s new policy is accompanied by a more realistic outlook towards bilateral ties and regional developments it will be possible to take steps towards detente.

He pointed to the severed ties between the two countries, and reminded that it was the former Canadian government that unilaterally suspended its relations with Tehran, reminding that practical measures should be initiated by Ottawa.

Canada severed ties with Tehran on September 8, 2012. Five Canadian diplomats left Iran and closed the embassy in a sudden move.

The two sides already had low-level diplomatic ties that made it almost impossible for them to do useful work.

Many Canadian analysts and officials criticized Ottawa for its naive decision to sever ties with Iran, describing the move as a strategic and grave mistake.

Now with the rise to power of the new Canadian government, hopes are seen on both sides that Ottawa would modify its policy of antagonism against Iran.

Now with the rise to power of the new Canadian government, hopes are seen on both sides that Ottawa would modify its policy of antagonism against Iran.

In relevant remarks in December, Deputy Head of Iran-Canada Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi said Ottawa would likely resume its diplomatic activity in Tehran next summer.

The Canadians are waiting for resumption of the British embassy’s full service to the Iranian nationals to reopen their mission in Tehran, Asgaroladi wrote in Tejarat Farda weekly.

“I think that the time for reopening the Canadian embassy will be next summer (2016),” he added.

Asgaroladi said that after the full implementation of the nuclear agreement signed between Iran and the world powers on July 14, relations between Tehran and the western countries, including Canada, will improve.

He also referred to the contacts and relations among members of the Iran-Canada Joint Chamber of Commerce, and expressed the hope that an Iranian delegation would be sent to Ottawa in spring and reciprocal visits would be paid by the Canadian businesspersons later.

The British government’s blatant stance and repeated remarks in support of the post-election unrests inside Iran and London’s espionage operations and financial and media support for the opposition groups were among the reasons for cutting ties with Britain.

After President Hassan Rouhani rose to power, he and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, pursued the policy of detente and started talks with London on the resumption of diplomatic ties and reopening embassies.

British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond reopened Britain’s embassy in Iran in August after four years of strained relations between Tehran and London.

By Fars News Agency