OTTAWA — Canada has become “a little less safe” as a result of U.S. President Donald Trump withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, says former NATO commander and retired Maj.-Gen. David Fraser.
During a panel on CTV’s Question Period airing on Sunday, Fraser said Trump’s May 8 decision to withdraw from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (CJPOA) will have negative impacts felt beyond the United States.
“I think we’ve become a little less safe with the United States pulling out of the deal. They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer, and having a regime like this and talking to them is really important,” Fraser said.
“It’s actually thrown everything up in the air. Trump as a disrupter has now gone on to the world stage, and his tactics I don’t think are going to be positive,” Fraser said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier this week that the Iran nuclear deal, which was negotiated under the Obama administration, was “not a perfect accord,” but that it was a positive step toward preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons and that he regretted the U.S. walking away.
Former CSIS director and national security adviser Dick Fadden agreed, saying that while the deal wasn’t perfect it was better than not having any agreement in place.
He said that while he hopes Canada will support efforts to keep the deal going, it will be an “uphill battle,” on account of international concern over upsetting the Americans considering their commercial and trade reach.
Trudeau has said he intends for the topic to come up at next month’s G7 summit that Canada is hosting in Charlevoix, Que.
Both Fadden and Fraser agreed that there was a zero chance of Trump being able to sign a new deal with Iran.
“It is generally going to destabilize the whole area,” Fadden said.
Asked if now was the time for Canada to try to reopen the embassy in Tehran, as Trudeau has promised, Fadden said it was not a good time to push, because of the damage it could do Canada’s relationship with the U.S., and he also cast doubt on Iran being willing to welcome Canada back without something in return.