Iran General NewsMinister Pettigrew Announces New Restrictions on Canada’s Engagement with...

Minister Pettigrew Announces New Restrictions on Canada’s Engagement with Iran

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Foreign Affairs Canada: Minister of Foreign Affairs Pierre Pettigrew issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s court proceedings in Iran: “Yesterday’s events illustrate once again that the Iranian justice system has neither the capacity nor the will to confront the perpetrators of the brutal murder of Zahra Kazemi. Canada will not accept justice being denied. Foreign Affairs Canada

No. 86

Minister of Foreign Affairs Pierre Pettigrew issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s court proceedings in Iran:

“Yesterday’s events illustrate once again that the Iranian justice system has neither the capacity nor the will to confront the perpetrators of the brutal murder of Zahra Kazemi. Canada will not accept justice being denied.

“We continue to insist on a proper investigation and trial of those guilty of Mrs. Kazemi’s murder and the return of her remains to Canada in accordance with her family’s wishes.

“We will continue to pursue our demands for justice bilaterally with Iranian officials, as well as multilaterally with support from international partners. But the bilateral relationship with Iran cannot proceed as normal. We have decided to constrain our bilateral relations with Iran until Iranian authorities are prepared to deal with this affair in a serious and credible manner.

“Effective immediately, we are further tightening our policy of controlled engagement. We will limit our encounters with Iranian officials to the Kazemi case, Iran’s human rights record and Iran’s nuclear non-proliferation performance. No visits or exchanges by Iranian officials to Canada will be permitted, nor will Canadian officials engage with Iran, except relating to these issues. The Iranian Embassy in Ottawa will need to have any meetings with officials of the Government of Canada approved, in advance, by Foreign Affairs Canada.

“Canada will not block the initiatives of private Canadian companies to trade with their Iranian counterparts. However, we will continue to apply strict export controls on sensitive goods and we will continue to advise business people about the political environment to consider when doing business with Iran. Furthermore, any existing programs of cooperation between Canadian government agencies and their Iranian counterparts will be halted.

“This state of relations will persist until Iran has taken steps to launch a credible and independent investigation and judicial process into the Kazemi case. This process must lead to real consequences for those responsible for her death.

“We have not decided to recall our Ambassador, nor to shut down Embassy services. We believe there continues to be a need for professional-level dialogue regarding the serious existing difficulties in our relationship.

“These legitimate concerns must be addressed for us to find a way forward.”

– 30 –

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Sébastien Théberge
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
(613) 995-1851

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs Canada
(613) 995-1874
http://www.international.gc.ca

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