Economy, Domestic Economy

Canada Hurting Own Industry by Maintaining Iran Sanctions

Canada Hurting Own Industry by Maintaining Iran SanctionsCanada Hurting Own Industry by Maintaining Iran Sanctions

Canada says it plans to lift its sanctions on Tehran, noting that maintaining the restrictions will only hurt Canadian companies such as the Montreal-based airplane manufacturer Bombardier.

“If Airbus is able to do it, why (will) Bombardier not be able to do it? In which way (is it) helping Canada, or the Iranian people, or Israel, or anyone, that Canada is hurting its own industry?” Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said on Tuesday.

Iran announced plans at the weekend to buy more than 160 European planes, mainly from Airbus, and Dion said reluctance to lift sanctions on the part of Canada’s Conservative opposition had helped Airbus and not Bombardier, Reuters reported.

The United States, the European Union and other major nations have already lifted some of their own sanctions.

Bombardier spokeswoman Marianella de la Barrera called Dion’s comments a positive step.

She said sanctions had not prevented Bombardier from speaking with Iran about its aviation needs: “It doesn’t preclude us from engaging in strategic discussions, which we are doing.”

Montreal has the third-largest aerospace hub in terms of employment, following Toulouse and Seattle.

Suzanne Benoit, president of Aero Montreal, which represents the aerospace sector there, said it would be excellent news for the industry if the embargo is lifted.

“Right now we are not in a fair competition with Airbus because Airbus can sell to Iran.”

Iran is looking to upgrade its aging fleet partly with aircraft with the same range and seats as Bombardier’s 100- to 150-seat CSeries.