On anniversary of Iran deal, Iranian Canadian Congress urges Canada to reengage with Iran

Here is a statement from the ICC Board of Directors on the first anniversary of Iran deal: 

On anniversary of Iran deal, Iranian Canadian Congress urges Canada to reengage with Iran.

 

The historic nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 on July 14, 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), marked a milestone in the history of world diplomacy. It showed the ability of diplomacy and dialogue to prevent conflict and foster international cooperation. According to a recent International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) report, Iran has honoured the terms of the agreement, and implementation of the deal is occurring in phases. The Government of Canada, after the election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, opted to lift the unilateral sanctions (i.e. those not part of UN resolutions) on Iran on February 2016, leaving mainly those sanctions related to arms and designated individuals. Today, as the deal marks its first year anniversary, the Iranian Canadian Congress acknowledges the importance of diplomacy and encourages the Government of Canada to take the path of diplomatic engagement and dialogue with Iran.

The deal presents the opportunity for countries to foster numerous types of economic, political, cultural, and academic cooperation with Iran in exchange for considerable benefit. While Canada lifted most of its sanctions in February 2016, Canadian companies and institutions have lagged behind that of our allies. A major barrier preventing further economic engagement today is the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Canadian business community can benefit greatly from reengagement with Iran. Canada’s exports to Iran peaked at $772 million in 1997. This number declined precipitously to $67 million in 2014 after Canada imposed sanctions on Iran.

The Iranian Canadian Congress believes that continued cooperation between Iran and Canada’s closest allies during the past year serves as a good example for Canada to engage in diplomacy and dialogue. This course of action not only strengthens the positive role Canada can play in the country, especially in terms of providing essential services to Canadian citizens (often Iranian-Canadians) who visit or live in Iran, but can also bring business and employment opportunities to Canada itself. The Iranian Canadian Congress therefore urges the Canadian government to reengage with Iran as a matter of utmost importance, to the benefit of Iranian-Canadians, Canadian businesses, and Canadian interests in the region. It is time for Canada to reclaim its proud history of commitment to peace and international cooperation by fully supporting this historic agreement and by reengaging with Iran.

 

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