NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair favours peace with Iran and says sanctions are working

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      NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says he is opposed to war with Iran. In a recent interview in a Georgia Straight boardroom, the newly minted Opposition leader stated that his top international-relations priority is to “work hard for peace”.

      “I don’t think anyone who has looked at this situation objectively is in favour of a preemptive strike on Iran,” Mulcair said. “Cooler heads are prevailing in London, Paris, and Washington, so far. I hope that continues.”

      His comments about Iran were far less bellicose than remarks made earlier this year by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In February, Harper told the National Post that he believes the Iranian government is prepared to use nuclear weapons if it’s able to produce them. Harper also called Iran a “fanatical and dangerous regime” and “a grave threat to peace and security”.

      Mulcair, however, characterized President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government as weak, but suggested an attack might give it sustenance.

      “Ahmadinejad’s regime is not going to be there forever,” the NDP leader said. “It’s a very shaky regime, but the best way to make people coalesce and support a regime is to attack it.”

      Mulcair added that he has never heard anybody in Canada call for a preemptive strike on Iran. “If there were any evidence that there was a real threat to world peace by the development of ballistic missiles that could have been combined with a weapon that was actually there, that would be one thing,” he said. “But what we’re seeing is that the sanctions are starting to work. They are producing the result, and that would be by far the preferred method to continue.”

      During the NDP leadership campaign, Mulcair was often portrayed as the most pro-Israel candidate in the race. That was because, in 2008, the left-wing magazine Canadian Dimension published a translated quote from Mulcair, in which he said, “I am an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances.” (“Je suis un ardent supporter de toutes les instances et de toutes les circonstances d’Israël.”)

      In his interview with the Straight, Mulcair emphasized that he is also an “ardent supporter of the creation of a Palestinian state”.

      “That has always been the NDP’s position,” he said. “We should create a state for Palestinians and we should have a state for Israelis: a classic two-state solution.”

      He added that this should be achieved “within a framework of international law and UN resolutions”.

      “So on the international-law side, we know that the current [Israeli government] settlement policies, for example, go against the fourth Geneva Convention,” Mulcair stated. “So that’s something very clear in the NDP position, which has always been my position.”

      Given his opposition to settlements in the occupied territories, the Straight suggested that Mulcair wasn’t an ardent supporter of Israel in all situations and in all circumstances.

      “There is no contradiction between the two,” the NDP leader replied. “You can be an ardent supporter of a country and say that something that they’re doing in that case has to be changed. But it doesn’t mean you’re not a supporter of the country. You have to be very careful with those words. What I’m saying is I’m not going to use my opposition to something that they’re doing as an excuse to call for an end to the state of Israel, which is what some of the adversaries of Israel do.”

      Mulcair pointed out that the Israeli embassy in Egypt operates out of a hotel because it wasn’t secure in its former location. “We’re in a very uncertain time with regard to a lot of the countries in the Middle East,” he noted. “That’s why it’s important to continue to support the democracies that are there…despite the hope generated by the Arab Spring, we’re seeing that a lot of those countries are backsliding.”

      Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.



      Arthur Vandelay

      May 10, 2012 at 6:15am

      Nice double talk, Frenchy. Yup, you're a politician of the highest order. Can't wait til the serious internal policy contradictions start becoming evident and you have to go head to head with the Libby Davies/Brian Topp faction. Bring on the fiireworks.


      May 10, 2012 at 11:24am

      Vandelay; I want your mothers name and phone number, so I can tell her what a louse she raised.

      KiDDAA Magazine

      May 10, 2012 at 3:00pm

      Bottom line is US wars are insane over a million people died in wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the bad guys were in Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen or Somalia and no WMdS.
      Now they say Iran is making nukes while being monitored by the UN but US intelligence says they are not.
      Not to mention the fact that they only have low grade uranium which cant make a nuke and they are being monitored.
      This next war is being started by white evangelicals and pro right Israel nuts. People say Iran with no nukes is a threat but nothing about Israels 200 working nukes and Apartheid. Any future war with finish the world economy.


      May 10, 2012 at 6:00pm

      “ 'We’re in a very uncertain time with regard to a lot of the countries in the Middle East,' he noted. 'That’s why it’s important to continue to support the democracies that are there…despite the hope generated by the Arab Spring, we’re seeing that a lot of those countries are backsliding.' ”

      Well said. For the sanctimonious anti-Israel crusaders (Libby Davies et al), walk a mile in the shoes of Israelis, who are being subjected to rockets being fired into their backyard on a constant basis from Gaza and you may be less inclined toward showing your utter ignorance.

      John-Albert Eadie

      May 10, 2012 at 7:08pm

      Mulcair is 100% right. Maybe, just to get rid of the Fascists, I will vote Orange instead of Green. Afterwards get the proportional thing attended to. Meantime, we must get rid of Fascists ASAP!

      The Orb

      May 10, 2012 at 7:11pm

      I thought Mulcair was another Zio stooge for Israel, hopefully he doesn't bend over like harper does. I'll be watching


      May 10, 2012 at 7:52pm


      Strange that you ignore Israel's belligerent/illegal and brutal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab lands, its ongoing/accelerating dispossession of the native inhabitants and theft of their water resources. Fortunately, a majority of and an ever-increasing number of people around the world (including Jews) understand that therein lie the reasons the conflict continues. Palestinians are the occupied, Israel is their occupier; Palestinians are the expelled, the dispossessed, Israel is the ethnic-cleanser; Palestinians are the victims, Israel is their victimizer.


      May 10, 2012 at 9:15pm

      Alison, those with a vested interest in keeping the conflict alive, such as the current Egyptian gov't, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.... in other words, those who hate Israel, are not interested in peace.


      May 11, 2012 at 3:44am

      It's a noble thought Mr.Mulcair but it will surely antagonize israel who would like nothing better to see a coalition made to destroy Iran. Isn't that why perez is in Canada now?


      May 11, 2012 at 1:43pm

      I knew Kidda couldn't get through a comment without dissing Israel. Prejudicial bigot is the phrase that applies there. As for Mulcair, kinda reminds me of the pact Chamberlain signed with the Nazi's. Sure Iran is a peace loving government - just ask the people of Iran. That is, ask the one's who aren't afraid they will be killed for something as simple as voicing an opinion contrary to their government's.