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Canada To Follow EU and U.S. In Lifting Sanctions On Iran

Canada will follow the United States and European Union in lifting economic sanctions against Iran to ensure Canadian businesses aren’t left behind, Canada’s foreign affairs minister said January 26.

Stephane Dion said that U.S. and European companies have been rushing to do business with Tehran, forcing Canada to abandon objections to Iran’s oppressive government that prompted Ottawa to break off diplomatic and economic ties with Tehran in 2012.

Sanctions will be eliminated “in a speedily fashion,” he told reporters in Ottawa.

"In which way it's helping Canada or the Iranian people or Israel or anyone that Canada is hurting its own industry?" he asked. "If [European aircraft manufacturer] Airbus is able to do it, why would Bombardier not be able to do it.”

Iran announced plans over the weekend to buy more than 160 European planes, mainly from Airbus.

Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has signaled an openness to also restore diplomatic relations with Iran, saying Tehran has made "significant movement" toward dismantling its nuclear weapons development activities under an agreement with world powers last year.

"Whenever you have a disagreement with a regime, you don't pull out, you work harder to be sure that you will see improvement," Dion said.

"It's what our allies did in negotiating with Iran an agreement that is good for the world."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP