International Reengagement Helps Foil Iranophobia

International Reengagement Helps Foil IranophobiaInternational Reengagement Helps Foil Iranophobia

Iran's opening to the world after the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers has thwarted the propaganda campaign led by hostile governments against the Islamic Republic, a lawmaker said.

"The revival of our foreign relations has eliminated the Iranophobia atmosphere and foiled the project of raising security concerns against Iran," Ali Najafi said in an interview with ICANA on Saturday.

Najafi cited Canada's expression of interest in resuming bilateral ties four years after the former Canadian government unilaterally announced a breakoff, which he believes was the result of pressure from Israeli lobbyists.

"Countries like Canada that were affected by the anti-Iran propaganda have now been compelled to reconsider their relations with the Islamic Republic," the parliamentarian added.

In September 2012, the administration of former Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, severed diplomatic contacts with the Islamic Republic, citing, among other pretexts, "continued threats from Iran to Israel".

Canada shut its embassy in Tehran and ordered Iranian diplomats to leave the North American country within five days.

Italian Embassy has been handling Canada's interests in Iran since then. However, current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to office in the 2015 election on a promise of change, including changes in foreign policy.

He has expressed willingness on several occasions to see Canada's Embassy reopen in Tehran and in February, his liberal government announced it was lifting some sanctions against Iran.

  Right Signal

"I think Canada is sending the right signal" by deciding to partially remove the sanctions, Trudeau said in March, adding that Canada needs to engage with nations that it believes pose a security challenge to the world.

"You need to have opportunities to put pressure, to tell them where they're going wrong, to tell them how to start going right ... You don't get to do that by crossing your arms and shouting indiscriminately and hoping they hear," he added.

In April, Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion acknowledged that the break in relations "had no positive consequences for anyone: not for Canadians, not for the people of Iran, not for Israel and not for global security."

"Canada's Embassy in Iran has been closed for over three years. With which results? Is it right to need to count on Italy to protect our interests in this country?" Dion asked.

"Today, Canada must return to Iran to play a useful role in that region of the world … We are being asked by all sides to reengage and we are doing so."

Later on June 10, he confirmed to CBC News that official-level talks with Iranians aimed at normalizing relations had started.

Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht-Ravanchi said earlier this week that the two sides' diplomats have met twice so far to discuss the issue.