Navid Hassibi is a Founding Director of the Ottawa-based Council on International Policy and also a Non-Resident Fellow with the Nuclear Security Working Group in Washington, DC. He tweets @navidhassibi and @theciponline. The opinions he expresses are solely his.
President Trump has shown little inclination to engage Iran and has so far begrudgingly supported the nuclear deal while his administration finalizes its Iran policy review.
To be sure, Professor Hoodfar's release highlights the benefits of diplomatic engagement and could be the beginning of a shift in Canada-Iran relations. While Canada's closest international partners re-engage Iran and establish diplomatic and/or economic ties, Ottawa has understandably been taking its time on playing catch up.
09/28/2016 05:22 EDT
In just over four months, the media-friendly, question-taking and selfies-giving Trudeau has managed to seemingly make Canada cool on the world stage, using the increased spotlight to highlight the merits of diplomacy and engagement, including on issues such as climate change, respect for diversity and human rights and international peace.
04/04/2016 01:58 EDT
Re-engaging Tehran does not mean that Canada and Iran will become strategic partners, however, if Canada can engage with Saudi Arabia, a country with which little is shared in terms of values, then surely it can engage with Iran whose population is highly secular and Western-leaning.
02/05/2016 05:28 EST
As international sanctions against Iran were lifted over the weekend and as U.S.-Iranian relations dominated the headlines, Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion implied on the sidelines of a Cabinet-level retreat that the Government is considering dropping its sanctions against Iran, a move that would align Canada with its closest international partners. That the government recognizes the economic and strategic disadvantages associated with its inherited Iran policy is a major step toward constructive re-engagement with Tehran.
01/19/2016 01:12 EST
As "Implementation Day" of the historic nuclear deal between world powers and Iran approaches, during which Iran will begin fulfilling the bulk of its end of the agreement while sanctions by the United Nations, United States and the European Union are removed, Canada must begin planning for the eventual restoration of ties with Iran in keeping with the new Trudeau government's affirmation to re-engage Tehran.
12/10/2015 11:22 EST
When overhauling Bill C-51 in the coming months, the new Trudeau government should give serious consideration to revamping Canada's national security policy-making apparatus to ensure the adoption of well-informed and objective national security and foreign policies. In doing so, the process should include an executive-level whole-of-government approach for maximum policy effectiveness. Given the dynamic and complex issues faced with abroad, there is no time better than the present to rethink how Canada approaches national security and foreign policy.
10/31/2015 11:39 EDT
What will Trudeau face in his first 100 days? What is certain, he will have a busy first month abroad as he will be attending the G20 Summit in Turkey, followed a few days later by the APEC Summit in the Philippines and a major UN climate conference in Paris soon after. Indeed, on foreign policy, the new prime minister will have plenty of opportunities to mark Canada's return to the world.
10/23/2015 08:18 EDT
Despite the vitriol stemming from both capitals, the extremist threat is the appropriate issue to spark a strategic recalculation in Tehran and Tel Aviv, even if temporary. Although the idea of Iranian-Israeli engagement may seem to be rooted in fantasy, the same factors that prompted the United States and Iran to try something new can and should drive Iran and Israel to follow suit.
10/09/2015 12:31 EDT
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