Canada PM: Iran is world's most serious threat

Harper says he is sure Tehran seeking to develop nuclear weapons, international response needed to counter threat.

January 6, 2012 09:39
1 minute read.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper_311. (photo credit: Daniel Munoz/Reuters)


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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Iran poses the "world's most serious threat to international peace and security," and opined that a coordinated international response is requisite to confronting Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

"In my judgment, [Iran] is the world's most serious threat to international peace and security," Harper said on Calgary radio station CHQR.

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Harper said he was sure Tehran was seeking nuclear weapons.

"This is a regime that wants to acquire nuclear weapons," he said. 

The Canadian prime minister said his country was working with its allies to impose strict sanctions on the Islamic Republic in an attempt to counter their bid for nuclear armament.

He insisted that Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, an important passage for global oil, underlined the success of Western sanctions. Iran's threats were a response to the crippling effect of sanctions, he continued.

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"That's why the regime is lashing out from time to time," he explained.

Harper said sanctions were the right course of action for tackling the Iranian threat, but that a coordinated international response would prove more effective.

He insisted that even Russia and China, two countries that are large consumers of Iranian oil and generally apprehensive about adopting international resolutions regarding the Islamic Republic, agreed that the Iranian nuclear issue is pertinent.

Tensions simmered between the Islamic Republic and Canada this past week, as Tehran chastised the Canadian charge d'affaires in Tehran, Dennis Horak, over Canada's treatment of its aboriginal people.

A Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson called the Iranian criticism absurd, saying it was "regrettable that the regime in Tehran is choosing not to address its own internal shortcomings before resorting to the ridiculous and engaging in this type of preposterous PR stunt."

Canada, meanwhile, has joined Western nations including the United States in casting sanctions on Iran, including prohibiting financial transactions with the country.

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