Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Iranian Nuclear Capacity and Preparations for War

Inquiry-Debate Continued

On the Order:
 
[Translation]
 
Resuming debate on the inquiry of the Honourable Senator Segal calling the attention of the Senate to the government of Iran’s imminent nuclear war capacity and its preparations for war in the Middle East, and to the commitment of Canada and its allies, including the USA, Russia, Turkey, the Gulf States, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and others, to diplomatic and strategic initiatives that exclude first-use nuclear attack, the ability of Canada to engage with its allies in order to understand, measure and contain this threat, and the capacity of Canada to support allied efforts to prevent a thermonuclear exchange in the Middle East.
 
Hon. Marcel Prud’homme: prudhm@sen.gc.ca
 
. . .With his inquiry of February 3, Senator Segal wanted us to examine the issue of Iran’s nuclear capacity and his fear that Iran would unleash a thermonuclear exchange in the Middle East. I hasten to immediately make a friendly correction. In speaking of a potential thermonuclear exchange in the Middle East, we cannot leave any of the countries in this region that have nuclear weapons out of the equation. . .
 
However, when my colleague warns us about the threat of a nuclear Iran, I do not understand why he does not also talk about – in the same geostrategic region – the nuclear capacities of Pakistan, India and Israel.
 
We have to stop telling tales. We have to stop and think, as if we did not know who started the arms race in the Middle East. We have to stop pretending to forget that Pakistan, India and Israel, unlike Iran, did not sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Just ask General Dallaire. . .
 
Some people in this Parliament are in favour of a policy of isolating Iran, but I feel that such an approach is naive. Consider the issue of sanctions. Iran’s leaders feel that any threat of sanctions by Western nations would strip all credibility from any diplomatic initiatives. It would be like saying to the Iranians, "Negotiate! But if you don’t meet our demands, we will impose sanctions."
 
Sanctions are juvenile ultimatums that can only lead to disaster. . .
 
If the Middle East is at risk of an arms race, it is because one country has sounded the starting signal. If Iran wishes to build a nuclear bomb, which is madness – and far from certain, it is because, in addition to other factors, one country already has that technology. Therefore, we might see a domino effect, which could be catastrophic for humanity. In this regard, I share my colleague’s concerns.
 
Take a look at what is happening elsewhere in the region. Four years ago, Saudi Arabia did not want to have anything to do with nuclear energy. Now, it is trying to procure the materials to build a nuclear reactor system. . .
 
Recent political developments in Israel lead us to fear that the new coalition government in that country is still not prepared for that kind of openness and I am sorry to hear that.
 
The last thing we need is an act of war against Tehran. I dare not think of the catastrophic consequences of such madness. . .
 
(On motion of Senator Tardif, debate adjourned.)

To read text of Senator Prud’homme’s statement click here