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

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

The O’Meara family – (left to right) Mari, Max, Adam and Rei – spent Saturday afternoon picking out the perfect tree. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Santa’s Forest tree sale in Saanich implements one-way perusing, curbside pick up

Christmas tree, wreath sales in Braefoot Park through Dec. 24

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

(Black Press Media file)
Webinars help Greater Victoria residents affected by dementia prepare for the holidays

COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions can add additional challenges for people living with dementia

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read