Canada to use G8 Presidency to Push for Iran Sanctions

Published: March 3rd 2010

PM Stephen Harper
Pic: wikimedia commons

Taking the helm of the G8, Canada will push the organization of the world’s wealthiest nations to support tougher sanctions against Iran as a way to rein in the regime’s nuclear ambitions, said Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday.


"Canada will use its G8 presidency to continue to focus international attention and action on the Iranian regime" and "work with its allies to find strong and viable solutions, including sanctions, to hold Iran to account," Harper said in a statement.


"It is time for Iran to end its defiance of the international community, suspend its enrichment activity and take immediate steps toward transparency and compliance by halting the construction of new enrichment sites, and fully cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency," he added.


The statement was made just as the US Treasury Department froze the assets of four corporations and an individual with ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.


On Tuesday, President Barack Obama said that it was time for a “significant regime of sanctions” against Iran due to the country’s quest to continue its nuclear enrichment plan in defiance of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.


The head of Russia’s national security council, Nikolai Patrushev, speaking in Moscow, said that Iran’s recent announcement that it was pursuing 20 per cent uranium enrichment levels showed that it was not believable when it claimed it was using nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.


He implied that the Russian government was growing wearing of dialogue with Iran and was willing to consider tougher sanctions.


Two weeks ago, Harper said that “Canada is deeply disturbed by Iran's decision further to enrich its nuclear material in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. The regime's latest moves bring Iran considerably closer to possessing weapons-grade material.”


The Canadian government is currently working with its allies to find “strong and viable solution, including sanctions” to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.


“Canada will use its G-8 presidency to continue to focus international attention and action on the Iranian regime,” Harper said. “In addition to our unease with the Iranian nuclear program, Canada will continue to voice our very serious concerns with the Iranian regime’s stifling of democracy, its deplorable human rights practices, and its negative implications for both regional and global stability.”  


Leaders of the Group of Seven nations, along with Russia, will be meeting in Toronto in June.

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