Global Affairs Canada calls on Israel to avoid escalation against Iran

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Monday she was urging Israel to defuse growing conflicts in the Middle East and not bomb Iran in retaliation for this weekend’s airstrikes, which were essentially foiled.

“Israel has the right to protect itself, of course, and we will always support Israel in its right to protect itself,” Minister Joly explained at a press briefing in Ottawa.

“At the same time, we want to ensure that there is no escalation. And that’s why I spoke to my colleague [israélien] saying to him: “take the gain, take the win in English,” because, indeed, what Israel did over the weekend was a demonstration of its extraordinary capacity to protect itself. »

Iran launched its first-ever military attack against Israel on Saturday, with hundreds of drones and missiles, according to Tehran, targeting military infrastructure. Israel and Jordan managed to intercept the vast majority of these drones and missiles.

Mme Joly said she had since spoken with her Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz, to discourage his government from responding with direct strikes against Iran.

The two countries have been waging a proxy war for years, with Israel accusing Iran of giving groups like Hezbollah and Hamas the means to attack the Jewish state.

It is widely believed that Israel was behind the airstrike on 1er April against the Iranian embassy in Syria, which killed senior army officers. International rules that protect diplomatic missions generally view attacks on embassies as targeting the states those buildings represent.

Iran responded Saturday and Sunday with a series of drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

“Terrorist organization”

The heightened tensions prompted the conservative opposition in Ottawa to once again table a motion in Parliament to list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian military, as a “terrorist organization.”

In 2018, MPs voted for a motion to include the group on the Canadian list. But liberals resisted its implementation, saying it was up to security officials to impartially designate “terrorist organizations.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has argued that listing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization in the Criminal Code would punish Canadians who were forcibly conscripted into the Iranian army. Ottawa has instead imposed an entry ban on people belonging to the Revolutionary Guard staff since November 2019.

Conservative MP Garnett Genuis once again called for such registration in the Commons on Monday. “I hope that after six years of delay, this government will finally do it,” Mr. Genuis declared in the House.

This motion would expedite the adoption of a private member’s bill that would classify the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization “as soon as possible after the events of the weekend, and in the most effective as possible,” he said.

The motion was debated for more than an hour on Monday.

Minister Joly said the government had already asked the Ministry of Public Security to study such a registration and that it “will continue to exert maximum pressure against the Iranian regime.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also indicated on Monday that she would discuss the imposition of new sanctions against Iran this week during the next meeting with her G7 counterparts in Italy.

“In the meantime, we have already imposed sanctions, at the level of World Affairs, on the most important leaders, and on all those who were involved in several acts of terror by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards,” he said. indicated the minister.

“We, at the Global Affairs level, have already listed several people and entities and we have sanctioned them. And I think we have to go even further, we have to put maximum pressure. »

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