Trudeau talks Iran with foreign counterparts Power Politics


CBC News


Iran,Qassem Soleimani,Trump,Donald Trump,U.S.,Justin Trudeau,U.S.-Iran,tensions,Iraq,military,Iraq mission,NATO,Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,Tehran,Baghdad,Middle East,NATO-mission,Canada,soldiers,force protection,allies,world leaders,power and politics,cbc

he's been called a monster and he was a monster and he's no longer a monster he's dead and that's a good thing for a lot of countries we're prepared we're totally prepared and likewise we're prepared to attack if we have to as retribution expect Iran to retaliate that was the message today from the White House as it defended its decision to kill Iran's top general the Trump administration says that don't drone strike rather that killed kasam se la montee save lives insisting salamati was planning an attack on Americans that the details of that attack or alleged attack have not yet been revealed the CBC's Katie Simpson joins us now from Washington with the latest hey Katie what's the president saying today about those tensions with Iran we just heard from him not too long ago Donald Trump sat before reporters in the Oval Office he was hosting the Greek Prime Minister and he was asked questions of course about what is going on with Iran and he sat before those reporters and he openly bragged about what the US government has done in the killing of Iran's top general saying that it's good news for the u.s. it's good news for American allies saying that many countries are quite happy with the actions that the US has taken but he also went on to say well he was defending his decision he also made an abrupt change in his position after repeatedly saying over the weekend that if tensions escalate and there isn't the need for further retaliation the Donald Trump said he had selected a number of sites that were important to the culture of Iran that he would target for retaliation after a number of experts came forward warning that that would constitute a war crime Donald Trump today reversed his position I like to obey the law but think of it they kill our people they blow up our people and then we have to be very gentle with their cultural institutions but I'm ok with it it's ok with me I will say this if Iran does anything that they shouldn't be doing they're going to be suffering the consequences and very strongly Donald Trump and other members of his cabinet were pressed repeatedly today by reporters for evidence or proof demonstrating or to justify the American action remember that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said that the u.s. decided to act to launch that drone strike because there was an imminent threat to American lives when a number of questions have come forward from reporters from Democratic lawmakers asking for more proof in that nothing has been made public at this point however lawmakers in Congress and the Sarah lawmakers today are getting briefings today and tomorrow with some classified information one member of President trumps cabinet secretary defense secretary Esper also spoke today talking a bit about what you talked about there asked about the evidence but also asked about what Americans and the rest of the world really can expect going forward what did he have to say on that well this is the big message that has sort of been pushed not only by Donald Trump but by the defense secretary who was trying to get in front of as many cameras as he could today he did a sit-down interview with CNN and he also held a news conference at the Pentagon and and he really pushed forward the the suggestion that the Americans should be prepared for retaliation from Iran and that's exactly the message he delivered today what happens next depends on them I think we should expect that they will retaliate in some way shape or form either through their proxies as they've been doing now for for how many years or bio and or with by their by their own hand and so we take this one step at a time we're prepared for any contingency and and then we will respond appropriately to whatever they do Esper went on to say that the u.s. doesn't want to start a war with Iran but it is certainly ready to finish it if that is the case all right thanks Katie appreciate the update as always the CBC's Katie Simpson for us in Washington meanwhile Canadian forces are on the move in the Middle East the Department of National Defense has announced some troops in Iraq are being temporarily relocated to Kuwait for their own safety given what's happening in the region why not move all of them out should a full withdrawal from the region be considered joining me now from Toronto Rob Oliphant is the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Winnipeg James bazan is the Conservatives defense critic and over in Victoria Laura Collins is a critic with the NDP hello to all three of you nice to see you really appreciate you making time for us great okay a Happy New Year tell us three of you mr. Oliphant I'll start with you yesterday minister Harjit Sajjan told us that non-essential personnel were being moved out of Iraq today Chief of Defence Staff General Vance said that some Canadian Forces personnel will be moved to Kuwait is it safe for any Canadian troops to remain in Iraq right now this is a very serious situation I think our government is following it a moment-by-moment right now there have been operational decisions made to ensure the safety and care of Canadians we are obviously keeping a close watch on travel advisories and making sure that our military personnel are not in harm's way as best as we can do that so that means non-essential personnel are moved some some others we've are participating in I in a pause on operation impact which is our NATO training mission which is being led by Canada and we are evaluating situation day by day minute by minute really to ensure that Canadians are safe that is our number-one concern to follow-up sorry mr. elderman do you anticipate that more Canadian troops will be moved out of Iraq imminently those will be operational decisions I'm not privy to the Department of National Defense and the senior command officers there will make those decisions they'll make them in the best interests of Canadian military personnel they'll keep their families informed and and we'll make sure that we keep people out of harm's way we just heard the president mr. Oliphant talked about the potential for Iran to in secretary Esper for Iran to retaliate if Iran does retaliate against the US and the u.s. invokes Article five will Canada support military action taken by the Americans right right now our whole everything we're doing is to try to de-escalate the situation so the Prime Minister Minister champagne Minister Sajjan are speaking to their counterparts with our our allies we're in constant contact with Iraqi officials the minister spoken with the Iraqi speaker of their Parliament as well as who his counterpart numerous times he's engaged as our prime minister is with the king of Jordan the Chancellor of Germany so we are taking these decisions very cautiously very carefully to make sure we are working multilaterally and trying to use every diplomatic tool that we have to de-escalate the situation no one wants a war nobody wants instability we are committed to the long-term peace and stabilization in the whole of the Middle East but particularly in Iraq at this time mr. bisson do you think that de-escalation is possible we ultimately hope so and I think all efforts have been made to de-escalate and avoid war at all cost but let's point out that you know Prime Minister Trudeau may be making some calls but it's interesting that the one call that hasn't been made is a conversation between Trudeau and President Trump because of course Trump doesn't trust her though considering what happened in London at the NATO summit when Trudeau was caught gossiping about the president at a cocktail party you know because Trudeau doesn't have that gravitas at the international level it really isn't matter what much he has to say to world leaders when it comes down to is that we need to make sure that all the resources are being provided to the Canadian Armed Forces I trust chief of Defense staff general Vance to make decisions on how we do force protection we want to make sure that we see this mission carried through just a correct Robert a bit you know the NATO mission is separate from operation impact the NATO mission led by a Canadian general carry on is definitely the training mission and capacity-building part of the exercise but the anti-isis coalition which is operation impact in Canada and its us-led and of course Canada is it's part of that under the leadership of general st. Louie you know they are going to make the decisions on how we move forward to finish the task at hand to bring peace and disability to the region and to protect our forces at the same time you've got to remember these are the kingdom forces these are soldiers who are trained to deal with these types of situations and conflict and I have full confidence as all conservatives do and I'm actually carrying with that time do you think they should remain in the region or are you concerned for their safety look I had the opportunity of a she just before Christmas to actually visit our troops with a minister staging and see firsthand on how they're doing because of the increased risks that were in Baghdad we didn't go there but we did go to Kuwait and other locations and I can tell you that they're prepared deal with the situation as it evolves and things were starting to evolve before Christmas yeah you know I believe that there was concern at that time before even the u.s. embassy was attacked so let's remember that that follow mone was a terrorist he has a lot of blood on his hands he's responsible does your party support with the u.s. I can say that that Canadians as well as a lot of people who are victims of salah mone are celebrating because this is a person that was responsible for carrying out terrorist activities throughout the region including working with hezbollah hamas and targeting civilians in syria and never mind targeting all the innocent civilians in Iraq and Iran including Kurds by heis Sunnis and and Christians and Jews in those regions so I don't want to take away from that mr. Pooh's and you're absolutely right he's a terrible guy but should the US have acted in the manner it did given the considerations what repercussions are concerned I'm not not here to respond to how the US should or shouldn't act especially when I don't know what type of intelligence that they had but I can tell you that that little money what was a terrorist he the second-in-command of the of a terrorist regime working Auto terrain Turan under Ayatollah Khomeni you know despite what some and in that there are followers of Khomeini might say the bulk of the Persian community here in Canada are celebrating the death of salamati miss Collins let me ask you your leader Jed meeting tweeted at the Prime Minister today urging him to act quickly to de-escalate the situation and warning him quote to not be drawn into the path that President Trump is taking what is her party me by that that our Prime Minister has finally started talks with foreign leaders to deescalate the situation this is something that we've been calling on for the prime minister to do for days and you know what our focus needs to be right now is on peace on a peace building on avoiding war on de-escalating the situation and you know I think Canadians do not want Canada to be and down the path that President Trump seems to be taking that we are being brought closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East and that is not what we want to see we want to make sure that we want reassurance that the Canadian government is doing everything in their power to do else escalate the situation mr. busy miss Collins just laid out some of the things that that general Soleimani was responsible for where does your party sit on the action that the u.s. took you know I think people are looking at the direction the u.s. is taking right now and seeing dress is contradicting you know his previous threats of retaliating against cultural sites and now he's backpedaling you know we we need to do everything in our power to deescalate to make sure that you know the troops who are there want to stabilize the country want to promote peace Canadians absolutely do not want to be drawn in to a us-led war in the Middle East I have time for a quick comment from each of you to finish off mr. elephant I'll start with you mr. Basant raised the specter of the Prime Minister speaking with President Trump why hasn't that happened yet and will it soon our prime minister is doing the work he needs to do our prime minister is speaking to world leaders to the year the President of the European Council just like General of the NATO of key leaders like Angela Merkel the Chancellor of Germany he's spoken to the king of Jordan our Minister Sean Penn has been talking to his counterparts around the world that's what we're doing a does particular role on this is to use our gift in diplomacy our engagement that we are there we are in this region this is our largest foreign expenditure that we have and promoting a peace in the Middle East and we're known for that and with all due respect James our prime minister is a well respected world leader who is engaged on the world stage who as has has earned that respect and is using it now to ensure that we can de-escalate the situation keep Canadians safe build long-term peace and stability in the region make sure the destabilizing forces are dealt with such as Dasia and we're going to do that and Canadians expect us to do it and to do it well to do it carefully without rhetoric without personal attacks on leaders without doing that kind of things we're doing the work that a government is supposed to do mr. busy it does mr. Oliphant have a point that I mean apart from from from what he just said but just the the the idea that the Prime Minister has spoken with with the representative from Jordan has spoken to the Chancellor of Germany and and people from the EU I mean those efforts to de-escalate are being made and I think that we want to see de-escalation take place but to Rob's point you know there's still the one major conversation that's not taking place and that's between Trudeau and Trump and I think that there's personal reasons for that and you know Rob you should have a talk to the Prime Minister about how he goes about not attacking people on a personal level something that he needs to learn how to quit doing so let's make sure that the adults in the room are making these decisions that's yeah that's you got a room right now let's be adults oh no you know you know maybe we send Minister Freeland you know as a minister of everything to fix the reputation of Canada's reputation on the world stage so yeah let's look at the overall situation on the ground and you know I have full confidence in what our military planners are doing right now under the leadership of General Vance I think that as they move forward we need to find those diplomatic solutions but at the same time let's quit trying to appease Iran in this process you know we've been calling on the government for the last 18 months its Parliament to actually passed a resolution to make the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran a terrorist organization similar to what we did when we were government back in 2012 by making the Kurds force terrorist organization here in Canada so let's make sure that we're taking some of these temps to send the strong messages to Iran at the same time that's finding those diplomatic solutions to avoid conflict miss Collins last word to you yeah I think the conversation that hasn't been had is the one with the Canadian people you know Canadians want to know that this government isn't going to be led into another devastate war i these these actions have real consequences they have real impacts on people around the world but also Canadians right here in BC people were detained at the border we're hearing reports so people detained for hours they have these actions have impacts on our citizens and people around the world and we need our prime minister to also reassure us knowing to let Canadians know that we're doing everything to deescalate the situation and we are not going to be led into a us-led war in the Middle East okay I have to leave it there amount of time but I thank all three of you for your time this evening very much thanks to Rob Oliphant James bazaine and Laurel Collins thank you I've been in constant communication with my counterparts and have called on them to stand with us in the defense of coalition forces in Iraq working through NATO the defeat Isis coalition and with our partners on the ground we continue to bolster Iraqi institutions to ensure the lasting defeat of Isis as we defend our people and interests let me reiterate that the United States is not seeking a war with Iran but we are prepared to finish one we are seeking a diplomatic solution but first this will require Iran to de-escalate it will require the regime to come to the table with the goal of preventing further bloodshed the u.s. and Iran could be on the brink of war in standing in the crossfire about 500 Canadian troops there in Iraq leading a NATO training mission and helping train local forces in the ongoing fight against Isis today the Department of Defense announced in this country that some troops will be moved to Kuwait temporarily is that the right move or does it still leave Canadian troops in a dangerous situation role in Paris previously served as a foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau he's now professor of International Affairs at the University of Ottawa and joins me here in studio hi professor terribly nice to see you again let's start off with first the news out of Canada and that is that Minister Sajjan had told us last night that some non-essential personnel were being moved out now we find out that some troops are being moved out of Iraq you called the move prudent I believe on Twitter why well i right now those troops are conducting a mission that can't be conducted the mission has been suspended the training and assist mission has been suspended and obviously there are concerns trepidation about how Iran might retaliate for the killing of general Soleimani so you know it makes sense it's prudent to be putting Canadian troops in the position where they're less likely to be struck the troops is one for one part of the equation the other and MPs were discussing it in the previous segment it's sort of how does Canada fit into all of this and what role can this country potentially play what are your thoughts on that well Canada does play a very active role in the North Atlantic Council within NATO and NATO the North Atlantic Council met yesterday and decided to suspend but not end that NATO training mission I'm sure Canada was there contributing to that discussion and of course there's a Canadian General who is commanding that mission and all of those countries Canada and most of its allies if not all of its allies have been calling for a de-escalation and calming of that situation Canada alone doesn't have a lot of sway in this situation this in this context but adding its voice to others who are talking about the necessity to to de-escalate and also speaking to the Iraqi government about the value of continuing the anti-isis operation those things are actually useful when you look at the conversations that we've seen that the Prime Minister has and as the opposition was saying not with President Trump but with Chancellor Merkel among others at a king of Jordan a whole bunch of people from the EU the government various governments in the EU what do you imagine those conversations are about are they focused on the potential for de-escalation I think so I think part of it is really sharing observations about what's going on I think there's a great deal of uncertainty and confusion about what's taking place on the ground you have the Iraqi government having or the Parliament having taken this non-binding vote for foreign forces to leave the country you have the United States issuing that letter that it rescinded five hours later yesterday saying that it was planning on removing troops you have these dire threats going back and forth between Iran the United States I think that the situation is extremely fluid right now part of what they're talking about is probably just sharing their views on that and part is about the need to join it join up there diplomacy to be calling for the kind of restraint that is going to be necessary to prevent this very volatile situation from potentially exploding into something worse can I ask you a bit about Canada's foreign policy where Iran is concerned obviously you advise the prime minister on foreign policy you're an expert in foreign policy we have seen a bit of a change in the in the government in in government and then in foreign policy towards the country in 2012 the relationship was cut off when Justin Trudeau was first elected I think it was Stephane Dion expressed a desire to see some sort of restitution of the relationship how would you describe the foreign policy towards Iran right now and what do you think it should be well we don't have diplomatic relations with Iran right now so it's it's pretty pretty limited our relationship with Iran and I think that the the foreign policy in general has been one of opposing Iranian support for militias in the region and also expressing concern and opposing the development of ballistic missiles in Iran Canada did support the Iranian nuclear accord that the Trump administration withdrew from which arguably set a whole series of events in motion but I think overall Canada's position on Iran has been quite limited because our relations are quite limited and our influence in the Middle East is quite limited is that a function just of the situation or is that particular decisions taken by this government well I think that with regard to Iran the suspension of diplomatic relations took place under the previous government and that's certainly made it much more difficult for us to have not only communications with Iran but eyes and ears on the ground in Iran to know what's going on there because if you don't have diplomats then you don't have those reports coming back and the capacity to gather intelligence but I think that there have been blockages in in the in the attempt to restore a kind of discussion with Iran and the results has been that that we really are nowhere in our Iran policy was it wrong to aspire to change the relationship or to improve the relationship given the pattern of behavior we've seen in Iraq no I think that in general that you talk to other countries and you talk to your adversaries - you know at the very height of the Cold War we maintained a an embassy in Moscow so the idea of just suspending relations with governments that you don't like basically eliminates the possibility as I said not only to have conversations but to be gathering information and intelligence on the ground where those countries are on a broader scale or in a broader context when you're talking about the situation right now between the u.s. and Iran we've heard secretary asper and secretary Pompeo both say expect them to retaliate what are you expecting as far as that goes it's very difficult to say of course I think that the Iranians have been very calculating in the past I don't expect them to be impulsive I think that they'll choose their moment in their time they're under tremendous pressure internally to retaliate they've indicated that they will retaliate the supreme leader attended a meeting of their National Security Council effectively said that there would be retaliation but I think that they're going to pick their moment very carefully and they have this incredibly difficult needle to thread which is to retaliate in a way that demonstrates to their own population and they hope to the United States that the killing of general Soleimani was unacceptable without triggering a further retaliation from Trump that is going to be extremely difficult and we know how unpredictable Donald Trump is because I feel like people who are sitting at home watching this all unfold are wondering how much does this escalate how far does it go should we be worried about another potential war what are your thoughts I don't think either the United States or Iran including Donald Trump including the supreme leader in Iran I don't think that they want a war the risk is that they end up with won through a series of escalations and we are looking at a kind of the ingredients for a classic almost textbook escalatory spiral that's why all these other countries including Canada have been saying calm deescalate don't take sudden actions now because the more time that goes by the lower the temperatures are and the less likely it is for us to see that kind of out-of-control escalation all right I hope so thank you so much professor Paris appreciate your insights as always Roland Paris professor of intern national affairs at the University of Ottawa hi I'm Basha Capello's host of power in politics see more of our show by subscribing to the CBC news channel or click the link for another video