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Politics Canada ready to take action on Iran if needed, Harper says

A view of the reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant as the first fuel is loaded, on Aug. 21, 2010, in Bushehr, Iran.

Iran International Photo Agency/Getty Images/Iran International Photo Agency/Getty Images

In a blunt warning amid an escalating crisis, the Harper government declared Friday that Canada stands ready to join with other nations in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Supporting a resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency that expresses "deep and increasing concern" over evidence that Iran is proceeding with plans to become a nuclear power, the Harper government vowed in its submission to "continue to work with like-minded nations on next steps.

"The question is not if, but rather the degree to which, we will act," the submission declared.

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The United States, Europe and other Western nations strongly supported the IAEA resolution, which was overwhelmingly approved by its board of directors Friday in Vienna.

The final resolution was stripped of clauses warning that action could be taken against Iran if it does not halt development of a nuclear weapon, in order to gain the support of Russia and China.

However, the resolution sends a clear warning to the Tehran regime that the international community will not stand by as it seeks to join the nuclear club.

While Iran insists its nuclear research program has only peaceful purposes, a recent IAEA report declared that there was clear evidence Iran was moving toward making a bomb.

"It is no longer within the bounds of credulity to claim that Iran's nuclear activities are solely peaceful," said Glyn Davies, the chief U.S. delegate to the IAEA, adding: "There is little doubt that Iran … at the very least, wants to position itself for a nuclear weapons capability."

The Canadian government agreed. "There is no plausible peaceful use" for Iran's uranium-enrichment program, the submission declared. "… Iran's nuclear activities can only be understood in the context of a nuclear weapons development effort."

There are growing indications that Israel and/or the United States might be prepared to take pre-emptive military action to destroy Iran's nuclear weapons-making capability. Were that to happen, this submission appears to confirm that the Harper government would offer its strong support.

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