A young Indian Shiite Muslim stands on a banner with a portrait of U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest against the recent U.S. attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, near the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Trump disregards Canada, allies with killing of Iranian general: ex-ambassador

Iranian Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed by a U.S. drone strike

Barack Obama’s former ambassador to Canada says President Donald Trump’s decision to order the killing of a top Iranian general represents the latest instance of the mercurial U.S. president throwing allies such as Canada under buses.

Ex-envoy Bruce Heyman says the killing of Iranian Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. drone near Baghdad’s airport last week elevates that disregard of American allies to a new level.

He says it is part of a pattern of disruptive international decisions by Trump that have led to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate-change agreement; the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; and the Iran nuclear deal, which included the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany.

Those decisions caused serious headaches for American allies, including Canada, while Friday’s killing has imperilled the NATO training mission in Iraq that Canada currently leads, says Heyman.

READ MORE: 60+ people of Iranian background detained for up to 16 hours at Peace Arch crossing

READ MORE: ‘They were targeting us’: Iranian-Canadian held at U.S. border

Iraq is ordering all international troops out of the country because it views the American attack on its soil as a violation of Iraqi sovereignty.

Heyman was the American diplomat who helped broker Canada’s entry into Iraq in 2014 as a U.S. ally in its fight against the spread of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in that country and neighbouring Syria.

“We were partners in this, in reducing terrorism,” Heyman said in an interview. “What concerns me, at least as publicly reported, is that the U.S. did not consult with our allies prior to this action. And if that is the case, it put Canada and others in a fairly difficult and complex situation on the ground.”

Heyman, a Democrat, has been a fierce critic of Trump, and has emerged as a vocal booster of Canada-U.S. relations during the Republican president’s rocky term in office.

As for the fallout of last week’s events in the Middle East, Heyman said American allies, including Canada, have a role to play in filling the diplomatic void opened by Trump.

“I’m hopeful that the U.S. allies are talking amongst each other and trying to figure out how best they can calm the waters,” said Heyman.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne appeared to be doing just that on Monday, with a series of phone calls with his Iraqi and Jordanian counterparts.

“The two ministers agreed that a de-escalation in tensions is necessary as peace and stability are key to pursuing the political and economic reforms underway in Iraq,” Champagne’s office said of his conversation with Iraq’s Mohammed Ali al-Hakim.

VIDEO: Iranian-Canadians celebrate death of top general in Iran

That was the same message that Champagne tried to deliver after his talk with Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi.

Safadi said on Twitter that he had an “in-depth discussion” with Champagne that “emphasized all must work to deescalate rising tensions. Stressed #Iraq stability is key to regional security & central to defeating #Daesh. Int’l coalition must remain intact. Great ties.”

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Snowmaggedon 2020’ has passed, but 20-30 milimetres of rain expected Friday

Residents should brace for rain and clear drains to prevent localized flooding

What happens in the Cowichan Valley when an earthquake strikes

When an earthquake does happen, will the Cowichan Valley be ready for it?

Exploring life, the afterlife, and near death experiences with Dr. Lynn Echevarria

Echevarria will deliver a talk to the LRCA Seniors Centre Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 pm

Winter storm warning now in effect for Island’s east coast

Environment Canada issues new weather warning late Wednesday afternoon

Town of Ladysmith snow removal crews prepared to respond to overnight snowfall

10 to 15 centimetres of snow are expected for Ladysmith overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Nanaimo mom will celebrate 40th in style after $500,000 lotto win

Crystal Giesbrecht matches all four numbers on BC/49 Extra

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Most Read