Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Barring a late reversal, on May 12 U.S. President Donald Trump will sound the death knell for the international agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The consequences are so potentially profound that last week the leaders of France and Germany were in Washington to argue against the move.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Mr. Trump’s inclinations, in the form of an odd PowerPoint presentation about a trove of secret, mostly old, documents he claims are proof of Iranian nuclear perfidy.

Story continues below advertisement

As well, Canada’s citizens keep dying in Iranian jails, and Iran has repeatedly launched cyberattacks against Canadian targets. Our country suspended formal diplomatic relations with the theocratic regime in 2012.

Related: Israel seeks Ottawa’s support to reopen Iran nuclear deal

Read more: Netanyahu says ‘Iran lied’ about not pursuing nuclear weapons

Against this backdrop, the recent Globe and Mail report that Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is prepared to host Iranian representatives on Canadian soil, possibly soon, might feel counterintuitive.

But Ms. Freeland’s willingness to engage Iran is the right move. Sometimes grown-ups must speak to and do business with people they don’t like.

The Iranian question is of capital global importance. Not just because of the ongoing tragedy in Syria, a key Iranian ally, but because Mr. Trump seems bent on undoing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that has, however fitfully, contained Iranian nuclear development.

There are risks associated with getting offside with a mercurial U.S. president. But the recent appointment of noted Iran hawk John Bolton as National Security Adviser has united key Canadian NATO allies, including Britain, in a last-ditch effort to preserve the international status quo on Iran.

The JCPOA isn’t perfect, but its deficiencies are best addressed by negotiating a complementary agreement, as French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed.

Given the context, and Canada’s economic interests in Iran, it makes sense for Ottawa to take a somewhat dovish approach.

Story continues below advertisement

Diplomatic engagement is always preferable to estrangement. Ms. Freeland will need to step lightly, but it’s important that she try.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies