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"Stupid" Law is Blocking Canada-Iran Re-engagement

Former Canadian ambassador Dennis Horak says "Stupid" law is blocking Canada-Iran re-engagement.

In 2012 the Conservative Government of Harper passed a series of bills and amendments in the House of Commons against Iran. In one move they amended the State Immunity Act. to withdraw the state immunity of countries that are designated as State Sponsors of Terror in Canada. In a second move they created a list of State Sponsors of Terror for the first time in Canada and added Iran and Syria to the list. The Conservatives also passed a bill called Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act that would bring all the above actions together. These changes combined allowed individuals to sue Iran because it was listed by the Harper government as a state sponsor of terror in Canada.

In 2015 the Liberals promised to reestablish diplomatic relations with Iran. However, according to Horak and other experts the changes the Harper government made in Canadian law against Iran has blocked the path of re-engagement between the two countries. While there have been diplomatic negotiations between the two countries and couple of meetings at the ministers level, the Liberals have not shown their willingness to reverse the changes made by the Harper government and the Conservatives.



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