Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers should be cancelled should it be determined that the Islamic Republic is not complying with it.
“There was a hope that the nuclear agreement would help moderate the Iranian regime’s behavior. It hasn’t. It has emboldened the Iranian regime. The nuclear agreement should be scrapped at the first sign of Iranian non-compliance,” Harper said in an interview with Near East Report, ahead of his speech at the upcoming AIPAC Policy Conference.
“It is incumbent on both our countries to continue to denounce Iran’s terrorist activities and human rights abuses. We should also look for every opportunity to dialogue with Iranian society through both traditional means and social-media platforms,” added Harper.
Harper, considered one the most pro-Israel prime ministers in Canada’s history, was asked how he came to develop a strong connection with the State of Israel.
“Israel is a fellow member of the global family of free and democratic nations, so it shares our values. It is also our only long-standing and enduring ally in that most dangerous part of the world, the Middle East, so it also shares our threats,” he replied.
“Thus the defense of Israel is in our own national interests as Canadians, as it is in the interests of all western nations.”
Harper expressed concern with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and its presence on university campuses.
“The reality of BDS on campuses is the targeting of Israeli academics, the harassment of Jewish students and intimidation against free speech,” he said.
“On the positive side, I note that my party—the Conservative Party of Canada—was successful in passing a resolution through our Parliament that denounces this hateful movement,” added Harper.
Speaking of Israel and Canada’s relations moving forward, Harper said, “[B]oth security and the economy are key areas where the Canada-Israel relationship could be much more developed. Countering the isolation of Israel in multilateral fora remains the chief area where Canadian leadership continues to be needed. For example, Canada could have and should have denounced United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334.”
Harper is a staunch supporter of Israel and, while his successor Justin Trudeau has continued to vote against anti-Israel resolutions at the UN, he has also tried to get closer to Muslims.
Since taking office, Trudeau has taken the view that Islam is "not incompatible with the Western secular democracy."