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313 words - August 7, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On the occasion of the inauguration in Tehran of new Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird pointed out several facts that implied, like Israeli officials did, that Mr. Rouhani's election is not a guarantee of any subsequent turnaround in the Iranian regime's posture.
"The Iranian regime has a clear choice to make: it can either march Iran down its current path toward continued isolation and economic disparity for the Iranian people, or it can let President Rohani change the regime's nuclear policies, its wanton disregard for human rights, and its destructive meddling in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and the wider region," Mr. Baird stated.
As a result, Canada will "look to Iran for proof of strategic shift" and will be watching for "concrete actions" and "meaningful change," particularly in the field of human rights and fundamental rights.
On the diplomatic stage, Mr. Baird explained, Iran should "stop the reckless expansion of Iran's nuclear program," through "genuine talks and cooperation with the P5+1 and the IAEA." As for Syria, Tehran should stop "supporting terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, and collaborating with Bashar al-Assad regime's slaughter of the Syrian people," the Canadian official added.
Mr. Baird "is so distant from and unaware of Iran's developments and the positive global reactions to such developments that his shallow positions do not merit a reaction and response," Iran's MFA spokesman Abbas Araqchi said about "Canada's hostile remarks."
In recent years, Canada's stance on Iran has dramatically drawn closer to Israel's by imposing a total trade ban on Iran and affirming that talk is not enough. "Canada has the toughest sanctions in the world and we have no intention of changing those sanctions until the Iranian regime changes course," said Foreign Minister Baird after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in June.
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