OTTAWA – Conservative Party Foreign Affairs Critic Tony Clement, and Deputy Critic Peter Kent, issued the following statement in regard to today’s announcement by the Liberal government on the lifting of sanctions against Iran. “The Conservative Party remains highly skeptical of Iran’s intentions when it comes to its nuclear program. That’s why today’s announcement is extremely disappointing given Canada’s past track record of a principled stance against the regime in Tehran, which cannot be trusted.” “President Rouhani has stated that he had fooled the West over previous nuclear negotiations. Iran continues to develop a ballistic missile program, even after being condemned by the United Nations. And the fact remains that while Tehran has made many commitments, we need to continually judge them by their actions, not their words.” “Today’s announcement does nothing to reconcile the fact that while at the same time, the Government of Canada is encouraging trade and engagement, Iran will remain listed as a state-sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. We all know Iran’s record of support for Hezbollah and Hamas, its constant agitation in the Gulf region especially in Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, as well as the continuing calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, and its denial of the Holocaust by the Supreme Leader.” “We also remain highly concerned about the signals given that Canada wants to re-open an embassy in Tehran. Given the regime’s history of directing and permitting attacks on foreign embassies and threatening ambassadors with assassination, the safety and security of Canadian diplomats remains of great concern, should the Liberals reopen an embassy.” “This is a country where officials at the highest levels of its government were personally involved in the rape, torture and murder of Iranian-Canadian citizen Zahra Kazemi in 2003. It is the same country which inflicts human rights abuses against its own people, including women, religious minorities, and gays and lesbians. All Canadians must be fully aware that this is the type of government that the Liberals wish to ‘re-engage with’.”