Canada Remains Skeptical About Iran’s Charm Offensive

[Flash90 photo] Despite the phone call between U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that marks the first time since the 1979 revolution that the two countries leaders spoke, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird called on foreign leaders to maintain sanctions against Iran. Now is the time for the global community to maintain tough sanctions against Iran in order that it takes a different path on its nuclear program, Baird said in his Sept. 30 address at the UN General Assembly. Obama extended an olive branch to Iran during his speech at the General Assembly last week, promising that his administration would focus on improving tensions between Iran and the West over its nuclear program. Rouhani pledged to remove mutual uncertainties with full transparency, but only if Iran could continue uranium enrichment for what he said were peaceful purposes. Both Baird and Prime Minister Stephen Harper remain cautious about putting too much stock into Rouhanis charm offensive. Following Obamas UN address last week, Harper said he would not fault President Obama and our allies for trying, but my sincere advice would be, when it comes to the government of Iran, that we should carefully monitor deeds far more than words. Baird said Canada would like to see Iran put words into practice when it comes to its nuclear program, its support of terrorism and itshuman rights record. Sound bites do not remove threats to global security. Kind words, a smile and a charm offensive are not a substitute for real action, he said. Canadas relationship with Iran remains strained since Canada severed diplomatic ties with the regime last year, calling it a state sponsor of terrorism. We ended that diplomatic presence because of our increased uncertainty about the safety of our personnel in Iran and we will not return until we think those kinds of questions can be adequately addressed, Harper said. In November, Canada is planning to present the United Nations with a resolution condemning Irans human rights record. Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs CEO Shimon Fogel, said he is very satisfied with the Canadian response. He referred to Bairds speech at the UN, where he spoke about our collective responsibility to ensure that rhetoric is matched by more meaningful demonstration in actions. In Rouhanis former position as a lead negotiator, he publicly boasted about a strategy of delay, denial and deception where they would engage in discussions while, at the same time, they were accelerating the process of trying to secure enriched uranium, Fogel said.

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Manufacturing and mining and oil and gas extraction also rose, helping goods production climb by 1.2 percent. Utilities and the farm and forestry sector fell. Services rose by 0.3 percent, with gains in wholesale, retail, finance and insurance, and arts and entertainment. The median forecast of analysts in a Reuters survey was for a 0.5 percent rise in July. The Statistics Canada data is adjusted for inflation and for seasonal factors. (Reporting by Randall Palmer and Alex Paterson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe) (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013. Check for restrictions at: http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp RELATED VIDEOS DATA PROVIDERS Copyright 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved. Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc . Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc . Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise.

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“We haven’t had that but if we were to get that it won’t be final. This won’t be final until it’s approved and we will keep pushing forward.” Harper, who made the remarks at a Canadian American Business Council event, said he’s been in regular contact with President Barack Obama. Harper said it will create 40,000 jobs in the U.S. “The logic behind this project is simply overwhelming,” the prime minister said. Harper said politics has cast doubt on whether the pipeline will be approved but said he’s optimistic it will be approved. “Ultimately, over time, bad politics make bad policy,” he said. “The president has always assured me that he will a make decision that’s in what he believes is in the best interests of the United States based on the facts. I think the facts are clear.” The Obama administration is considering whether to approve the pipeline, which would carry 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta across six U.S. states to the Texas Gulf Coast. A decision late this year or early next year. Republicans, and business and labor groups, have urged the Obama administration to approve the pipeline as a source of much-needed jobs and a step toward North American energy independence. Environmental groups have been pressuring President Barack Obama to reject the pipeline, saying it would carry “dirty oil” that contributes to global warming. They also worry about a spill. Obama’s initial rejection of the pipeline last year went over badly in Canada, which relies on the U.S. for 97 percent of its energy exports.