Trudeau: We won't rush to lift Iran sanctions

Canadian PM says he will be careful with regards to lifting sanctions against Iran.

Elad Benari,

Justin Trudeau
Justin Trudeau

Canada will not rush to lift sanctions against Iran, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

He added that the country would be cautious on making such a move despite calls to scrap the measures quickly so Canadian companies can compete for contracts.

"We're going to be very careful and thoughtful, working and coordinating with our allies in the way that we move to reengage and lift sanctions with Iran ... I understand the need and interest in Canadian businesses to engage but we're going to be doing it the right way," Trudeau was quoted as having told reporters in Calgary.           

Trudeau’s comments come despite comments to the contrary made last week by his Foreign Minister, Stéphane Dion.

Dion said in parliament that the government would begin to lift some of the sanctions on Iran, though he added Canada would also “maintain a level of mistrust for a regime that must not have nuclear weapons, a regime that is a danger to human rights and is not a friend to our allies, including Israel.”

The previous Conservative government under Stephen Harper closed its embassy in Iran in 2012 and expelled Iranian diplomats from Canada.

At the time, Canada said it viewed the Iranian government “as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.”

Last year, the Conservative government expressed skepticism over Iran’s nuclear intentions and said it would not lift the sanctions on the Islamic Republic unless it is sure Iran "finally and honestly" neutralizes the military aspects of its nuclear program.