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)

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

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Veteran Henry Kriwokon has his photo taken by the Western as he celebrates his 99th birthday with friends at the Cellar in Downtown Penticton. (Brennan Phillips - Penticton Western News)
Turning 101, Penticton veteran looks back on life

Henry Kriwokon was one of the soldiers in the famous ‘Wait for me, Daddy’ photo

Stock photo from Unsplash.com
Study: Embrace national long-term care standards

Call to direct public funding only to public and non-profit long-term care providers

The BC CDC releases a map weekly that shows the geographic distribution of COVID in the province. (BC CDC photo)
Only one new case of COVID-19 in Golden region

The data shows new cases from Jan. 10 - 16

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

Members of BCEHS Station 343 in Lake Country receive a donation of treats and wine from the community in December. (Contributed)
‘Unexpected and heartwarming’: Okanagan community supports paramedics

Cards, discounts, treats, more given to Lake Country paramedics in sign of support

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

The North Okanagan Naturalists' Club completed its annual swan and eagle counts Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (Claude Rioux - NONC photo)
North Okanagan bird count shows decrease in swan and eagle numbers

Trumpeter swans were down 61 per cent from last year’s count; eagles down 14 per cent

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis has served as the band’s chief since his first of six electoral wins in 1991. (File photo)
Okanagan Indian Band seeks nominations for upcoming election

A new OKIB chief and council will be elected March 30, 2021

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Winfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Most Read