Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Capacity of Canada to Support Allies in a Middle East War-Inquiry-Debate Adjourned

Hon. Hugh Segal rose pursuant to notice of April 10, 2008: segalh@sen.parl.gc.ca

That he will call the attention of the Senate to:
 
(a) the capacity of Canada and its allies to understand, measure and contain Iranian state-sponsored preparations for war throughout the Iraq, Afghanistan and Middle East regions; and
(b) the capacity of Canada to support allied efforts should a broad, multi-front war break out.
He said: Honourable senators, the status of Iran in our present international context impacts our own interests as Canadians, our national security, and that of our allies and friends worldwide.
I have, as do other members of this place, great respect for the history, culture and civilization of the dynamic people who make up Iranian society, both in the Islamic Republic of Iran and among the vast Iranian diaspora here in Canada and elsewhere.
That being said, one’s high regard for the people of Iran, its vast Persian culture, diverse faiths and history, cannot dilute justifiable concerns about aspects of the policies and initiatives of the present Iranian administration. Iran deserves to be treated as a major power and have its legitimate interests be respected, but when it acts with aggressive intent, that, too, must be addressed…
…Iran has a young population. Fifty per cent are less than 30 years old. Despite great oil wealth, its people are suffering under high living costs and unemployment. More important, in terms of this inquiry, there is mounting evidence from diverse sources that Iran’s government is engaged in the following activities.
First, they are providing rocket stocks to Syria and through Syria to Iran’s client, the non-state actor Hezbollah militia, to destabilize the region, kill Israeli citizens and, up to a recent settlement, civilians in Lebanon of all faiths.
Second, they are providing similar support to Iran’s client insurgent militias in Iraq – militias that kill many more Muslims than they do American, British or other coalition forces in the country.
Third, they are pursuing a strategy of nuclear weapons development, announcing new milestones regularly in violation of IAEA agreements.
Fourth, they are articulating a nihilist destructive threat towards regional neighbours, including non-Shia Middle Eastern moderates like Jordan, the Gulf states, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia and, of course, Israel.
Fifth, and most important from our perspective as Canadians, they are providing arms training and support for Taliban forces who are killing Afghanis and NATO forces, who are themselves operating under UN Resolution 1444 in the Afghan Islamic Republic and at the request of its democratically elected government, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan…