File Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tom Hanson

Libs say Harper is entitled to his opinion on Iran deal

Harper praises Trump on Iran deal

The Trudeau government is playing down its difference of opinion with former prime minister Stephen Harper over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal.

Two different senior Liberals offered similarly low-key reactions after the former prime minister and several other former politicians took out a full-page ad in the New York Times to express full-throated support for the U.S. administration’s brazen and controversial move.

The ad — “Mr. President, You Are Right About Iran,” in declares in large type — puts Harper in line with Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but offside with the current Canadian government and several of America’s European allies.

RELATED: Trump’s pull out from Iran deal deepens US isolation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, both say the current government continues to support the agreement, which puts limits on Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for some sanctions relief.

And they agree the past prime minister is free to have his own views.

“Mr. Harper is a private citizen and allowed his own opinions,” Trudeau said in Saguenay, Que.

”But as for the government of Canada, we take a firm position that the (Iran deal), while not a perfect accord, certainly is a very positive step, holding Iran to account and preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, which would be a threat not just to the region but to global stability.”

He also questioned whether the current Conservative party agrees with its former leader.

Freeland also said she spoke Thursday with her British counterpart Boris Johnson about next steps for the international community in trying to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, despite the weakening of the agreement.

RELATED: Trudeau regrets Trump decision to pull out of Iran nuclear agreement

The Canadian government has hinted it might not re-impose sanctions, but has also suggested it’s a non-issue as Canada does little business with Iran anyway.

Freeland said Canada’s main bilateral issue with Iran right now has to do with something else entirely: its refusal to let widow Maryam Mombeini leave the country, after the dual citizen’s husband, an environmentalist and university professor, died in an Iranian jail while being held on espionage accusations.

She called the situation ”dreadful”: “This is really a key issue for me, personally, and for the government of Canada.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Port Alberni cyclist collides with passing car

Cyclist received minor injuries

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations receive grants to bring ancestors’ remains home

Grants are part of the Royal B.C. Museum’s new repatriation program

Get ready for a week of sunshine across Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in the high teens all this week

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Vancouver Island designated as foreign trade zone

Designation simplifies importing and exporting and provides duty relief

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

North Island Midget Eagles bit by Alberni Valley Bulldogs, hammer Nanaimo Clippers

It was a bit of an up and down rollercoaster ride of a weekend for the North Island Midget Eagles.

Most Read