The Hardline on Iran at Home

Former Iranian embassy, Ottawa.
Former Iranian embassy, Ottawa.

Canada’s approach raises global tension for domestic gains.

by Robin D. Laws

The Canadian government’s surprise September 7 decision to cut diplomatic ties with Iran, closing its Tehran embassy and expelling Iran’s diplomats from Ottawa, exemplifies two broader political impulses. The first is the Harper regime’s program of ideological change by stealth. The second reflects the tendency of the pan-national, neoconservative movement to handle foreign affairs as matters of verbal disagreement best resolved by national cold-shouldering.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has held power in Canada since 2006, despite a dissonance between his ideological conservatism and an electorate of generally center-left cultural bent. Though weak in personal warmth and telegenic presence, he has prospered, as many Canadian Prime Ministers had before him, through the …

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