Tehran Awaits Ottawa’s Overtures

Tehran Awaits Ottawa’s Overtures

Creating a climate in which expansion of diplomatic relations with Iran could be plausible was one of the potential benefits the Middle Eastern country and world powers expected to reap by signing the nuclear deal in July 2015.
Along this line and following the emergence of a new atmosphere in Canada's foreign diplomacy due to the Liberal Party's victory in the North American country in the 2015 election, Tehran and Ottawa seem keen on resuming relations by reopening embassies, which have been shut since 2012 due to the former Canadian government's decision.
Over the past days, Iranian and Canadian officials have talked about the possibility and even the necessity of strengthening diplomatic ties. "Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes establishing relations with Canada," ICANA quoted Avaz Heydarpour, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, as saying on Monday.
Explaining that resuming relations would benefit the two countries, the legislator said, "It would be in Tehran and Ottawa's interests ... As many Iranian citizens live in Canada, having cultural, economic and political relations will surely help provide them with facilities."
The lawmaker referred to Canadian officials' remarks reflected in the media about the issue and said Iran awaits Canada's move in "making a direct request to reopen the embassy."
"Considering the fact that the news has been internationally published, it seems it is time [Canadian authorities] directly request Iran. Related officials [of both states] need to start negotiations," he said.
Last Tuesday, Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion underlined the necessity of reopening the country's embassy in Iran.
"Today, Canada must return to Iran to play a useful role in that region of the world," as quoted by the official website of the government of Canada.
Heydarpour referred to Dion's remarks and highlighted the enormous potential that Canada can exploit by taking this landmark political measure.
"The Canadian official [Dion] stressed that cutting ties with Tehran has damaged Ottawa. In fact, the Canadian government is aware of the Islamic Republic of Iran's economic potential," he said.
Heydarpour is not the only lawmaker who has commented on the possible rapprochement and welcomed the measure.
Ezzatollah Yousefian, a member of the Central Council of the Majlis Principlist Faction, also said on Sunday that reopening embassies is possible "if the new Canadian government avoids its predecessor's policies and makes up (for them)," as quoted by ICANA.


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