Canada to lift sanctions off Iran

Canadian foreign affairs minister says some sanctions will be lifted off Iran since deal has been reached to curb Tehran’s nuclear program

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Canada's Foreign Minister Stephane Dion speaks in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, January 25, 2016

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said on Tuesday that it plans to lift sanctions off Iran after a nuclear deal which allowed the United States and European Union to lift sanctions off Tehran came into force in the past weeks.

"Canada will lift its sanctions but what Canada will maintain is our suspicion of a regime ... that must not return to (trying to obtain) nuclear weapons," Dion told the House of Commons moments before meeting journalists.

Dion also asserted that if Airbus is allowed to sell to Iran, then its aircraft maker Bombardier Inc should be allowed to export there as well.

"If Airbus is able to do it, why (will) Bombardier not be able to do it?...Canada is hurting its own industry?" Dion said in an exchange with reporters.

Iran has recently announced that it intends to purchase more than 160 European planes, mainly from Airbus. Dion said hesitancy to lift sanctions on the part of Canada's Conservative opposition had helped Airbus and not Bombardier.

However, "legitimate” businesses will certainly be allowed to do business with Tehran as soon as sanctions are lifted, said the Canadian foreign affairs minister.

Bombardier spokeswoman Marianella de la Barrera said “nothing official” had been communicated to them but despite sanctions, the company has not been prevented from talking to Iran about its aviation needs.

“It doesn't preclude us from engaging in strategic discussions, which we are doing," said Barrera.

Meanwhile, president of Aero Montreal Suzanne Benoit, said the lifting of sanctions will be great news to Canada  because "right now we are not in a fair competition with Airbus because Airbus can sell to Iran."

TRTWorld, Reuters