Canada’s decision last week to cut diplomatic ties with Iran has been met with a mixture of surprise and dismay in some quarters; and elation in others.
Even the Toronto Star had an editorial voicing its dismay over the decision–one major reason being the notion that one needs to talk to one’s enemies as much as one’s friends. And that is really a surprise as the Star is certainly in favour of authoritarianism–just not Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s style of authoritarianism.
I will gloss over the main points of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird’s characterization of Iran as “the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.” Let’s just say that by Mr. Baird’s criteria, a number of other countries pose greater threats. Of course, the most important criterion for assessing risks to peace would be the number of countries invaded by Iran recently. We note that even Canada has attacked more countries than has Iran in the last dozen years.
As an aside–a friend of mine recently met with diplomats of an unnamed European country, who told him that they were shocked at the speed with which Canada’s international reputation has fallen under Harper’s leadership. He was very surprised that diplomats would say this. I said they probably confided in him as a fellow countryman (he was of the same nationality), but they would probably not have said anything about it to Canadians.