The Honourable Senator Harder, Government Representative in the Senate
May 4, 2016
Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson: My question is to the Government Representative in the Senate, and it’s also about Iran. Not long after sanctions were lifted against Iran, Russia rushed in to sell fighter jets and missile systems to the regime in Tehran.
Senator Harder just spoke about Canada working with our allies. Our allies have rightly deemed that this weapons sale violates a UN arms ban, but our government seems to be warming up its relations with both Iran and Vladimir Putin.
Will the government condemn this massive weapons sale that threatens peace and stability in the region rather than turning its back on our allies and refusing to take a leadership role against this dangerous arms transaction?
Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I will certainly follow up on the question. It would not be for me to answer on behalf of the government directly.
However, I do want to reference my earlier point that the government does believe that engaging with Iran gives us an opportunity to raise, at the highest level, issues of human rights, and that we are in a close working relationship with our allies, particularly the P5+1, on issues around the nuclear arrangement.
In the context of Russia, the Prime Minister has expressed his views directly to the President of Russia. The diplomatic relationship is supportive of the ongoing concerns of the Government of Canada with respect to the actions taken by the Government of Russia on a wide range of issues.
(Response to question raised by the Honourable Dennis Glen Patterson on May 4, 2016)
Presently, Global Affairs Canada does not have any information which indicates that Russia has violated United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions or directives regarding the provision of military equipment or technology to Iran.
Any UN Member State wishing to sell, supply or transfer certain conventional weapons to Iran must have the permission in advance of the UN Security Council to do so, as provided for in UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015). Russia has indicated that it transferred surface-to-air missile batteries to Iran in April 2016. The United States has indicated that this transfer was not a violation of UNSCR 2231. The UN Secretary-General’s first implementation report on UNSCR 2231, dated July 12, 2016 did not identify any breaches by Russia. The Government of Canada expects all UN Member States to adhere to the obligations of UNSCR 2231.