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Canada Flexes Diplomatic Muscle

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posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 11:42 AM
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Not being a military power and being only a middle economic power as a member of the G8, Canada relies heavily on diplomacy to achieve its goals.

This is an example of how diplomacy can work even on a country like Iran.

Last year a Canadian citizen and photojournalist, Zahra Kazemi, was killed in Iranian custody after she was arrested taking pictures outside a prison. The suspects involved are senior judicial officials. She died of an inflicted brain haemorrhage in 2003.

The incident prompted Canada to recall its Iranian ambassador and launch a diplomatic assault. We succeeded in getting the government of Iran to launch an investigation and the result is that a trial is currently underway.

Lawyers are led by Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, representing Ms Kazemi's family. Another smart move by Canadian diplomats.

This past week Iran refused to grant any Canadian officials access to the trial to ensure it was fair and that the suspects were to be held to account. Once again Canada announced it was recalling its ambassador and launched another quiet diplomatic assault.

The result of Canadian diplomacy and influence was announced this morning.


The BBC's Miranda Eeles in Tehran says Iran's judiciary backed down after the Canadian announcement and allowed the ambassador, Philip MacKinnon, to enter the courtroom.
Source

So. How many people out there would have thought that little old Canada could have gotten Iran to capitulate on any matter? Let along one in which senior Iranian officials were implicated?

There are many examples of such diplomatic victories for Canada. I am always amazed at the influence we hold in the world but never really hear about. Military threats and economic sanctions have their place, but diplomacy can never be ruled out.




posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 12:40 PM
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Well it's nice that the ambassador can enter the courtroom. It seems as though no one else would be permitted based on the way the release was written. The fact is though that allowing one person in the courtroom is a small "victory" at best. Let's wait and see the results before before any broader claims as to the effectiveness of diplomacy with the likes of Iran.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 01:54 PM
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I can't think of the guys name right now, but remember that Canadian who was held in Saudi Arabia, then when he got released our government was like "we got his release blah blah blah", but actually it turned out that Prince Charles and the americans securd his release.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 02:05 PM
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We are the fern in the shadow of the oak. Damn, why do we feel that we have to prove something to the world. No offence Gools, I'm not refering to your thread, just this general feeling that people think we have to catch up to the States or something.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 03:32 PM
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Intrepid,
I really don't think Canada needs to prove anything. I remember well what Canada did for the Americans during the hostage crisis. I think some people look at this thread and think that it may be a bit naive. That's unfortunate but, maybe sometimes it's simply better to lie low until the whole story is told. I guess that comes with life experience.
CS



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 03:44 PM
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I think that diplomacy can do wonders if people agree to a compromise but when one nation acts as bullies the results are obvious, it becomes a tog a war and the end is stupidity.

I agree some countries should teach US administration how to solve problems peacefully, without any unnecessary blood shed.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 04:03 PM
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I will say that I am sceptical that Canadien diplomacy had everything to do with the Iranians letting the ambassador into the trial. I commend the Canadiens for their efforts and the proposed closing of the embassy but the Iranians are just trying to keep this issue on the backburner as far as Canadiens are concerned.

The Iranians are already in deep scrutiny by the US and UN about their nuke program and see themselves as a next target of the US in it's war on terror. Canada did not agree with the US on the Iraq campaign and if the Iranians tried to cover up this case, they would only alienate Canadiens giving them a rallying point to help in Iran if this were to happen.

If the Iranians were smart they would have a quick trial and convict someone or someones and have this issue die swiftly.

Just my opinion here, I think it goes much further than Canadien diplomacy in this case here, but good news nonetheless for the family of the lady.



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 09:12 PM
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Well you all make good points.

Yeah, it's a small victory, but it was also a small victory to get and investigation and another small victory to demand justice and get a trial. Start adding them up and you have something substantive. Time will tell if the process has a good outcome.

The purpose of my post was not to inflate Canadian pride or anything like that. Just an example of how a situation, properly handled, can be diffused.

Some of the posts led me to try and imagine what the response would have been if it was an American journalist instead of a Canadian one that was murdered.

My imagined answer is stereotypical to say the least.


What's yours?

[edit on 7/17/2004 by Gools]



posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 09:24 PM
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I'll give the Canadians the benefit here and say that their diplomacy worked favorably in this case. Any time things can be resolved diplomatically is a win for all involved.

I just wish that diplomacy worked with terrorists as well as nations. Nations are in the global sandbox and face international sanctions if they step too far out of bounds (theoretically) whereas terrorists have nothing to lose and everything to gain.




posted on Jul, 17 2004 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky I just wish that diplomacy worked with terrorists as well as nations.


You know I wonder about this sometimes. I'd really like to know what was said and what arguments were used for pursuasion.

Economically: Canada has hardly any trade with Iran and I heard no talk of sanctions at higher levels like the UN, G8, OAS, Commonwealth, ASEAN, O.I.Francophonie etc.

Militarily: puhlease! No talk at UN or NATO.

So the leverage lied elsewhere. I wonder what it was?

It could be that its because Canada is a member of every one of those organisations mentioned (with the exception of ASEAN where we have a close relationship because of BC's demographics) and that repercussions were obvious. But Iran gave in before they were resorted to.

I like to think there was something more to it. Moral persuasion? A pursuasive legal argument? A promise made in return maybe?



posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 08:57 AM
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Well, so much for diplomacy! The Iranians just brought the proceedings to an abrupt halt. Here's the link.
www.abc.net.au...



posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 09:18 AM
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Good Christ. Am I allowed to say that here?

It's not a failure of diplomacy that happened here. It is merely a case of Iranian business as usual.




posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 09:44 AM
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In order for diplomacy to be practiced, it must be bilateral not unilateral. When one party refuses to negotiate, or acts in total bad faith as the Iranians have, it is indeed a failure of diplomacy.



posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 11:10 AM
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Wow.


Didn't take long for things to turn sour. The CBC story is here and includes good background on the case. The government has already reacted.


For the second time in recent days, Canada has recalled its ambassador to Iran ... Foreign Minister Bill Graham issued a statement Sunday, saying he was "disappointed but not surprised by this flagrant denial of due process."


The BBC is also covering the story here.


Ambassador Philip MacKinnon of Canada, his Dutch counterpart representing the European Union and senior diplomats from Britain and France - alongside foreign journalists - arrived at the courtroom to find their access blocked. ... Ms Kazemi's defence team - led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi - has accused the authorities of a cover-up, saying a more senior official is the real culprit. ... "They didn't even pay attention to our evidence and announced the end of the trial," Ms Ebadi told reporters outside the Tehran court.


It seems that there is a battle between the reformist and hardliners being played out behind the scene.


Correspondents say the trial has strained Iran's relations with Canada, and deepened the rift between the reformist government and the hardline judiciary.

Reformist President Mohammad Khatami has said he believes the intelligence agent is innocent and has called on the judiciary to identify "the real guilty person".


I wonder what the next steps will be?



posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 11:53 AM
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Gools - it's unfortunate that Canadians being the "quiet people" has a negative side as well as a positive one.

The negative side is that other countries treat us in a cavalier fashion, like Iran.

The positive side is that the Canadian passport has a good reputation worldwide, and Canadians usually have no problems at foreign customs.

The negative side (again) is that the Israeli Mossad knows about the Canadian passport's good rep and use it as a cover for their agents.

I like my country being a country of dialogue and diplomacy. I wouldn't change that - we're a honest broker. But I look at the world today and wonder if we're too naive and whether the only language between different countries is brute force.



posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 02:49 PM
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The positive side is that the Canadian passport has a good reputation worldwide, and Canadians usually have no problems at foreign customs.


I would contend that, your statement is incorrect in some countries. Canada also has a reputation for giving out passports to people who shouldn't get passports. For example why is someone who admitted to attending an al-qaida training camp allowed to live in this country???(yes it did happen right here in toronto)

Secondly, looks like Canadian diplomatic muscle was actually flexed if the Iranians closed the trial so quickly.



posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 02:52 PM
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Originally posted by f16falcon
For example why is someone who admitted to attending an al-qaida training camp allowed to live in this country???(yes it did happen right here in toronto)


Yeah, I remember that. What an embarassment.



posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 02:55 PM
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Hey, nobody said Canada was perfect. But at least we (generally) walk teh straight and narrow. part of due proccess and equality is that people will, inevitably, take advantage of the system. I'm simply happy we found out a put a stop to it.

DE



posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by DeusEx
Hey, nobody said Canada was perfect. But at least we (generally) walk teh straight and narrow. part of due proccess and equality is that people will, inevitably, take advantage of the system. I'm simply happy we found out a put a stop to it.

DE


Put a stop to it??? How did we stop it?
Equality, I don't see how one could say that, Canadian society is politically correct!!!!!
Walk straight and narrow??? I'm confused



posted on Jul, 18 2004 @ 05:15 PM
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Equality, as in everyone is treated equally, regardless of creed, color, etc. Simple, no?

Walking the straight and narrow, as in not invading other countries. Or bombing them into the stone age several times a decade.

While violence is sometimes neccesary, I very much doubt that Canada bombing the crap out of Iran would help anyone. As well, for each terrorist we allow into the country, we doubtlessly let in hundred of immigrants who are deserving of living in this fine country. Even the probing, cavity-search US customs servicemen have no doubt let terrorists through.

DE



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