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

Concerts Café Classico returns to Langley Community Music School with violinist Domagoj Ivanovic and pianist Noel McRobbie

The duo will perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s sonata for piano and violin No.9, the “Kreutzer”

VIDEO: Newbie Giants helps defeat Victoria 4-1 in Langley Friday

The G-Men play Saturday in Victoria before hosting Kamloops on home ice at LEC on Sunday afternoon

The most borrowed books in 2019

The Fraser Valley Regional Library complied a list of last year’s top reads

Aldergrove newspaper boys brave the snow

Aldergrove Star carriers are doing their best to deliver the news to you

Young curlers ready for national tournament in Langley

The teams practiced on Friday in preparation for the official start Saturday

VIDEO: Contest winner pays it forward in Langley

Jan Janzen will share her $200 prize with the food bank, homeless shelter, and grandkids

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Coquihalla, Highway 3 to be hit with freezing rain, sparking warning to commuters

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Should winter tires be mandatory in the Lower Mainland?

ICBC dial-a-claims go up as winter storm takes toll

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Most Read