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

Remorse high for Vernon man sentenced for car surfing death

Driver of car that killed friend who was car surfing gets nine months in jail

Vernon taekwon-do pair off to world championships

Student Brianna Li and coach David White of Sundance Taekwon-Do earn spots with national team

Vernon Kin Race Track appeal abandoned

Okanagan Equestrian Society drops appeal of ruling favouring City of Vernon, regional district

French Immersion feedback positive for Vernon School District

Ninety-one families lined up for 88 spots this week

First animal auxiliary thrift store opens in Vernon

All proceeds will go towards helping various animal rescue groups.

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

Most Read