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

Vandals deface Aldergrove elementary school with racist slur, male genitalia

Langley School District confirms it has filed a report with the Langley RCMP

‘Our hands are tied’: Langley Good Times Cruise-In announces cancellation due to COVID-19

People are encouraged to donate to the chosen Langley charities online, said Cruise-In director

Langley Township lifts evacuation alert as flooding threat drops

People are still advised to avoid the Fraser River due to fast running water

Langley nurse wins yard makeover in contest for frontline workers

The free yardwork helped relieve some of the stress for a Willoughby nurse and mom

Rideshare expands into Aldergrove

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

Most Read