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

Armed Forces in town, two new fires near Cherryville

Area restrictions expanded, firefighters equipment stolen

Ash falling in the Okanagan

Reports on social media of ashes on cars around the Okanagan

Kamloops volunteers say needle buyback program working

Make presentation to Vernon council; claim to have collected 7,000 needles at $.05 per sharp

Armstrong ready to Cram the Cruiser

Music in Armstrong’s Memorial Park Aug. 24 to benefit local food bank

Kin Beach cleanup extends to OKIB land

City of Vernon taking over cleaning Sandy Beach

Snowy Mountain fire travelling away from communities

The Snowy Mountain fire near Keremeos remains at 13,359 hectares in size

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former Shuswap optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Kelowna developer warns home buyers to look at more than the price tag

Kelowna developer Jeffrey Anderson wants first-time homeowners to look at more than the price tag.

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

Most Read