Surely we can do better than a policy based primarily on criticism and blame, or one based on violence. The Group of 4 believes we need a renewed Canada Iran foreign policy statement. This represents our views only and not necessarily the official position of the GPC.
Ineffective diplomacy, inflammatory rhetoric, and internal power struggles in Iran lead to election crisis, human rights violations, and the present impasse.
The Green Party recognizes the rich history of the Persian people, their culture, and the desire of Iranian citizens for peace. The highly educated Iranian civil society should be supported through active, cooperative engagement accompanied by public overtures of dialogue with the Iranian government. There can be no long-term stability in the Middle East if Iran is continually isolated. Real change must come from the Iranian people who in turn must receive a clear signal that nations like Canada not only understand this but are prepared to act in a peaceful, cooperative direction. It is imperative that the mistakes in recent decades not be repeated.
The Green Party of Canada unequivocally condemns human rights abuses in any country. Regarding Iran, this includes, torture, arbitrary arrests, gross miscarriages of Iranian justice and most disturbing, the death of detainees while in custody. We call upon the Canadian government to reach out to moderate clerics and elected members of the Iranian Majlis to speak out and resist these violations. It is impossible to view the recent Iranian internal crisis in isolation. The history of external interference and repeated rejection of offers of dialogue from past moderate leaders, especially the false ‘Axis of Evil’ doctrine, has contributed greatly to a continued threat against real democracy and human rights in Iran. Equally, corruption and false rhetoric employed by some Iranian leaders widens the divide between the government and the Iranian people.
The Green Party of Canada recognizes that the Iranian economy and environment have suffered greatly from neglect and mismanagement. We believe that this plays a significant role in the internal struggle between the government and Iranian people as a whole. Iran faces increasing desertification and soil erosion putting water and agricultural resources under future threat. Suspected corruption and the suspicions held by many Iranians concerning the safety of Iran’s nuclear program amplify this economic and environmental dilemma. The Green Party recognizes and supports the enormous work of Iranian men and women who lead the Iranian environmental movement.
The Green Party of Canada condemns the destructive politics of nuclear weapons, oil and nuclear energy. We believe in the elimination of the development and possession of nuclear weapons by any nation. We believe the dependence on oil and nuclear energy contributes far too much to global conflict. We believe that global peace can only be achieved through security, democracy and real diplomacy.
The Green Party believes that the Canadian government should begin to develop a truly independent and value based foreign policy towards Iran. Canada needs a foreign policy that is constructive and respectful of the values of participatory democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom. Global citizenship is for everyone.
This policy should be innovative and progressive and relationship based. The principles of this policy should advocate:
A relationship based on shared values, truth and diplomacy, that is respectful of regional history and the internal politics of Iran;
- A relationship based on strengthening Iranian governance, human rights and environmental responsibility;
- A relationship based on mutually seeking regional peace and security; and
- A relationship based on strengthening Iranian prosperity and global citizenship.
From such a policy, we can begin to deal with the serious issues in a hopeful and constructive manner. Activities and issues may include:
- Beginning a dialogue to establish a Canada-Iran relationship based on the above principles.
- Creating a dialogue of truth that does not indulge or support rhetoric that inflames or aggravates misunderstandings of the Iranian people and their culture.
- Creating cooperative programs and partnerships with Iranian professional societies to directly form learning relationships with Canadian counterparts.
- Providing a neutral forum for Iranian people to peacefully strengthen their democratic processes.
- Working with Iranians to strengthen social justice and prevent or address risks to human rights and judicial trials in which any practices of torture and brutality are used in obtaining confessions.
- Supporting the Iranian environmental movement by developing cooperative projects within Iran to address environmental degradation concerns.
- Working to facilitate Iranian cooperation with all IAEA inspections and requests regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
- Facilitating a cooperative dialogue with Iran and all nuclear-armed nations with a view to the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.
- Offering diplomatic assistance and measures to facilitate engagement and dialogue between Iran and regional neighbors to ease tensions and foster regional stability and peace.
Sincere regards from the Ottawa Group of Four;
- Paul Maillet
- Akbar Manoussi
- Sylvie Lemieux
- Qais Ghanem