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

Retail development Sidney Crossing cancelled due to construction costs

Cost-sharing agreement couldn’t be reached for required pedestrian bridge

Fog in Victoria affects at least four airlines

Oct. 23 is the fourth day in last week fog has cancelled flights

PHOTOS: Bear fishes for salmon in Goldstream Park

Each fall thousands of vistors head to the park to watch the annual salmon spawn

Video shows break-in at Saanich underground parking lot

Saanich Police are looking for two men caught on camera Monday night

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Delivery of cannabis could be impacted by postal strike

BC Liquor Distribution Branch look at alternative third-party delivery services

Local businesses that go above and beyond honoured at annual gala

Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island Torch Awards go Nov. 2 at the Union Club

UPDATE: Simultaneous shooting at ferry terminal “a first” for police watchdog

Suspect shot by police in Nanaimo as he was in the act of taking his own life

Around the BCHL: Chilliwack Chiefs snag spot in CJHL national rankings

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the BCHL and the junior A world.

Rural regions get priority for B.C. referendum mail-out

Ballot security measures aim to protect against voter fraud

B.C.’s natural gas supply could see 50% dip through winter due to pipeline blast

It’s been two weeks since the Enbridge pipeline ruptured near Prince George on Oct. 9, sparking a large fireball

Mega Millions, Powerball prizes come down to math, long odds

Biggest myth: The advertised $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize and $620 million Powerball prize aren’t quite real

2 Canadians advance to finals at world wrestling championships

Olympic champion Erica Wiebe just missed joining them with a loss 3-1 to three-time world champion Adeline Gray of the United States in the 76-kg event

Most Read