File Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tom Hanson

Libs say Harper is entitled to his opinion on Iran deal

Harper praises Trump on Iran deal

The Trudeau government is playing down its difference of opinion with former prime minister Stephen Harper over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Iran nuclear deal.

Two different senior Liberals offered similarly low-key reactions after the former prime minister and several other former politicians took out a full-page ad in the New York Times to express full-throated support for the U.S. administration’s brazen and controversial move.

The ad — “Mr. President, You Are Right About Iran,” in declares in large type — puts Harper in line with Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but offside with the current Canadian government and several of America’s European allies.

RELATED: Trump’s pull out from Iran deal deepens US isolation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, both say the current government continues to support the agreement, which puts limits on Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for some sanctions relief.

And they agree the past prime minister is free to have his own views.

“Mr. Harper is a private citizen and allowed his own opinions,” Trudeau said in Saguenay, Que.

”But as for the government of Canada, we take a firm position that the (Iran deal), while not a perfect accord, certainly is a very positive step, holding Iran to account and preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, which would be a threat not just to the region but to global stability.”

He also questioned whether the current Conservative party agrees with its former leader.

Freeland also said she spoke Thursday with her British counterpart Boris Johnson about next steps for the international community in trying to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, despite the weakening of the agreement.

RELATED: Trudeau regrets Trump decision to pull out of Iran nuclear agreement

The Canadian government has hinted it might not re-impose sanctions, but has also suggested it’s a non-issue as Canada does little business with Iran anyway.

Freeland said Canada’s main bilateral issue with Iran right now has to do with something else entirely: its refusal to let widow Maryam Mombeini leave the country, after the dual citizen’s husband, an environmentalist and university professor, died in an Iranian jail while being held on espionage accusations.

She called the situation ”dreadful”: “This is really a key issue for me, personally, and for the government of Canada.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Former Vernon man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Man arrested after cash and food stolen from Princeton volunteer firefighters

A 19-year-old Princeton man was arrested October 6 for stealing - from… Continue reading

Some people just shouldn’t vote

It is traditional for a newspaper, in the issue immediately proceeding an… Continue reading

Prost, raise your glass for Penticton Oktoberfest

The Penticton Lakeside Resort is the new venue for the annual event

Okanagan RCMP look for owners of various keys located during arrest

RCMP seek to reunite the owners of various keys found at the arrest of suspects in a stolen vehicle.

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Trial set for man charged with decades-old murder of B.C. girl

Garry Handlen accused of killing Merritt girl; also charged with Abbotsford murder

Bernardo-like sexual deviancy poorly understood, expert says

What exactly causes such deviance is not known but some evidence exists of physical brain damage to the front part of the brain

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Ex-B.C. cop caught in Creep Catchers sting gets house arrest

Dario Devic pleaded guilty after getting caught up in Surrey Creep Catcher sting in Whalley in 2016

Most Read