Canada’s Nonsense Trade Ban on Iran

By Stephen Gowans

Who says you can’t form accurate judgments of people on the basis of first impressions? Long before he was Canada’s foreign minister, before he was even elected to public office, John Baird knocked at my door and introduced himself as a candidate in my riding for an election that had yet to be called. From the moment he spoke, I took a visceral dislike to him and pegged him for what he is: a demagogic creep whose life mission is pandering to the powerful.

His actions since have done nothing to soften my view. Consider, for example, his recent announcement that Canada will impose a total trade ban on Iran. Canada exports a few bushels of wheat to Iran in return for a truckload of Persian rugs. The ban means little sacrifice at home—and little pain for Iranians. In other words, it’s symbolic.

But it gives Baird a platform from which to demonize Iran and, in doing so, to ingratiate himself with Washington and Tel Aviv. Baird says the ban is necessary to punish Iran’s “reckless and irresponsible” behaviour in increasing its uranium enrichment activities. Problem is, there’s nothing reckless or irresponsible about Iran enriching uranium. Indeed, if anyone is reckless and irresponsible, it’s Canada.

As a non-nuclear weapons party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has a right to enrich uranium, as long as it refrains from diverting fissile material to military use. The International Atomic Energy Agency—which monitors Iran’s enrichment activities—has never reported a single instance of Iran diverting fissile material. What’s more, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Japan also enrich uranium on their own soil. When last I checked, Baird wasn’t denouncing these countries’ enrichment activities as reckless and irresponsible.

Iran has no nuclear weapons. And the US intelligence community says that, in its view, the Iranians aren’t developing them. As to the charge that Iran is just a few years away from a bomb, that canard has been around since the mid-1980s. And still Iran hasn’t a single nuclear weapon.

There’s nothing about Iran’s enrichment activities that are worthy of a trade ban. Except pandering to Israel. Which is kind of tricky considering that unlike Iran, Israel actually does have nuclear weapons—an estimated 400, and the means to deliver them by missiles, aircraft and submarines. Even if it did have nuclear weapons, Iran would—without long range bombers and submarines, and with missiles of limited range—struggle to deliver them.

Moreover, unlike Iran, Israel bars IAEA inspectors from monitoring its nuclear facilities. It won’t join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, despite UN resolutions directing it to do so. If any country were deserving of a total trade ban, Israel would seem to fit the bill, not only for its nuclear activities, but for its ongoing oppression of Palestinians and habit of attacking its neighbors.

Baird, then, can’t possibly be concerned about the presence of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

Or anywhere else, for that matter.

In 2010—and here’s where Canadian recklessness and irresponsibility come in–Canada signed off on a deal to export uranium to India, despite concerns that the south Asian country would use the uranium to free up its domestic supply for military use. It’s widely believed that India used a research reactor sold to it by Canada to obtain weapons-grade plutonium to develop its first nuclear weapons. Because India, like Israel, is not a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, there are no international inspectors in India to ensure that uranium is used for peaceful purposes alone, as there are in Iran.

All of which means that Canada is about to sell uranium to a south Asian proliferator for commercial gain while imposing a symbolic trade ban on a non-proliferator to curry favour with a west Asian proliferator. And the west Asian proliferator is the regional attack dog of a country loaded to the gunwales with nuclear weapons, and no intention of relinquishing the political utility they provide in bullying other countries.

As I said: pandering to the powerful.

Finally, let’s be clear. As Peter Oborne and David Morrison point out in their excellent book, A Dangerous Delusion: Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran, the West never had a problem with Iran’s nuclear program when Washington’s marionette, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, ruled with an iron fist in Tehran. It was only when the Iranians sent Pahlavi packing and asserted their independence that the United States turned sour on Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program—and much else about the country too.

4 thoughts on “Canada’s Nonsense Trade Ban on Iran

  1. Kaveh Shahrooz, a lawyer who is seeking names for himself lives in Canada, supports embassy closure of Iran, a Zionist project supported by the Iranian traitors in Canada.
    He is the Vice President of the ICC, “Iranian-Canadian Congress” told CTV Newsnet regarding Canada’s decision to end diplomatic relations with the following:

    {In my opinion, all accusations made by John Baird, Foreign Minister, against Iran are correct. The situation of ‘human rights’ in Iran is bleak. Iranian government supports ‘terrorism’ and makes problems for Iranians living in Canada who wants to participate in political activities against the government of Iran.}
    He ignores the war criminal activities of Israel, US, Canada that he supports.

    He continued “The only concern as “Iranian-Canadian Congress” has is that we hope the embassy closure does not create many problems for Iranians wanting to get passport or those in need of visa to come to Canada.”

    Canada is one of the Zionist friendly countries where the Zionist lobby and Zionist supporters, like Irwin Cotler, David Kilgour both supporters of terrorist organization of

    Mujahedeen, MEK where all with Dershowitz actively were seeking to take the MEK out of the terrorist list.
    Canada provides funding for Iranians who are active against Iran. Canada closely works with people like Payam Akhavan, Nazanin Jan, MacKay’s wife, Ramin Jahanbegloo and Kaveh Shahrooz, to demonize Iran.
    Nazanin Afshin-Jam, called for the closure of the Iranian embassy in Ottawa.
    The Zionist lobby, Irwin Cotler, uses these people as WITNESS at the Canadian parliament to bring charges against Iran to ratify bills written by the supporters of Israel, like Irwin Cotler, to force economic and diplomatic sanction against Iran to make life unbearable for Iranians so they pour into street to do ‘regime change’ for Israel and US imperialists.
    An Iranian opposition group in Canada, at this site ( criticized John Baird’s hypocritical treatment of Iran when he announced from Israel- where he and finance Minister Jim Flaherty were on a weeklong diplomatic mission – that Canada had frozen the assets of Iranian-born Canadians and five Iranian companies operating in the country – sitting next to Irwin Cotler, supporter of terrorist group Mujahedeen, MEK:

    {It is obvious that is political issue under the name of Human rights.
    Let me shed light on the issue for the readers.
    It is not coincident to announce the new sanction against Iran by John Baird in Israel in Feb 2013 while is accompanied by Mr. Cotler. Mr. Shahooz is a young Iranian Canadian who is eager to be famous by clinging to Israeli lobby. Pls correct me if I am wrong.}
    Iran’s Foreign Ministry has slammed Canada’s unilateral decision to sever ties with Tehran calling it a “non-professional, unconventional and unjustifiable” move.

  2. {Who says you can’t form accurate judgments of people on the basis of first impressions? John a demagogic creep whose life mission is pandering to the powerful.}

    You are right Stephen. However this demagogic creep, John Baird, cannot work alone and should receive help from other demagogic creep. And sure he does. They were Canadians who pose as “Iranian opposition” who were board members of “rights and democracy”, and are CIA assets. One of them is Payam Akhavan, a “lawyer” in the service of the empire, where has received more than 2.5 millions from the CIA

    (State department) and NED organizations to establish and run “Iran documentation center” in New Heaven to construct ‘documents’ so to fabricate “crimes against humanity” against Iran for
    demonization purposes necessary for regime change. This activity is helped and supported by another CIA agent, Boroumand foundation, where was established and is maintained by the CIA (NED) funding, run by Kurdish assets. The other one is Kaveh Shahrooz, lawyer, who works and contributes to FREEDOM HOUSE, like Payam Akhavan does.
    Both are engaged in demagogic activities to paint Iran and Iranian government as “danger to world peace” by forming, for example: “Iran Tribunal” in London in 2012 funded by the intelligence agencies of the West. Even “Iranian Opposition” groups attacked “Iran Tribunal” as a tool of the empire for regime change.
    These two lawyers, Shahrooz and Akhavan, have totally ignored the crimes against humanity of the empire, Canada, Britain, Israel, France; willingly work with known war criminals of the United States, and Canada.

    Payam Akhavan is so corrupt that he ignores the crimes against humanity of HIS COUNTRY Canada, to help the known war criminals such as McCain, John Baird, Stephen Harper and Peter McKay, against Iran. Payam Akhavan is a member of Halifax
    security Forum where sit next to Yahud Barak, McKay and McCain to plan an attack on Iran.

    John Baird and Irwin Cotler, an Israel firster, and Canadian lawyers, who pose as “Iranian opposition’ are responsible for Iran demonization and illegal sanction against Iranian children, which is considered War Crime against humanity where should be condemned by international community.
    Instead, Shahrooz ,Akhavan are using western states and stooges like Irwin Cotler and John Baird to condemn Iran for “crimes against humanity” though deception. Irwin Cotler, Payam Akhavan, and other neocons have signed petition “Responsibility to Protect” in 2008 and 2010 to Israel for regime change, signed by many CIA agents and Zionists pro Mujahedin including Dershowitz, Akhavan, and Irwin Cotler who goes from country to country to bring more illegal sanctions against Iranian children with the help of Shahrooz and Akhavan, two servants.
    Please read the list of names who supported the petition “R2P” in order to understand the nature of these war criminals:

    Click to access 2010_11_17_-_Petition_Endorsers.pdf

    Kaveh Shahrooz and Payam Akhavan, are silent aginst massive survailence states of US and Canada but go to Canadian parliament to work with Irwin Cotler, a zionist propaganist, brain washing Canadian politicians to bring more sanctions against Iran. John Baird can not work in isolation but with these CIA and board and democracy agents in Canada.
    Payam Akhavan is an activist in Bahai circles to spread propaganda against Iran. The majority of Bahia in Iran is coming from Jewish background and have supporter of Israel and have strong ties with the apartheid state. They can easily forgive Israel’s discrimination against Bahai, including Payam Akhavan.
    John Baird, a hypocrite, as usual uses phony “human rights abuses” in Iran, so Akhavan, and Shahrooz to demonize Iran for regime change. At one time when John Baird in Israel condemned Iran for ‘abuses” against Bahia community, then a Baha’i took the opportunity to expose Israelis’ abuses against Bahia where Baird and Akhavan push under the rug. He said:
    {We the Bahá’ís of Jewish background appreciate your concern about the religious freedom for Christians and Baha’is in Iran during your visit to our World Centre in Haifa Israel. But then why this fundamental freedom is not been given to Bah’ís in Israel where the Christians, Muslims and Jews are allowed to teach and propagate their Faiths but the Bahá’ís are denied with this core principal and core values.}
    On Jan. 31, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced from Israel – where he and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty were on a weeklong diplomatic mission – that Canada had frozen the assets of three Iranian-born Canadians and five Iranian companies operating in the country, and prohibited them from conducting business here.
    For more information on “Iran Tribunal” established by CIA agents, Mujahedin and phony ‘oppositon’, please read the following:
    Canadians must inform themselves on hypocrites like Payam Akhavan and Shahrooz and write about these propagandists and their role in Canadian government.

  3. ‘I’m curious as to why the Canadian ruling class feels that it has to follow the U.S. ruling class so slavishly.;

    Top dog and bottom dog

  4. I’m curious as to why the Canadian ruling class feels that it has to follow the U.S. ruling class so slavishly. Back in the day they used to at least pretend to take a slightly independent line now and then. Baird seems to be following a script written in the basement of the Pentagon.

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