BY KRISTY KIRKUP
Canada’s military is preparing for all possibilities involving Iran, according to Defence Minister Peter MacKay.
“We are pursuing every diplomatic means, but he fact remains we have to be prepared for what may come and that’s something the national defence department takes very seriously,” MacKay said in an a one-on-one interview with Sun News Network set to air on Sunday. “We are always planning, always preparing.”
MacKay said Iran’s “brutal” regime against its people, its failure to co-operate with nuclear facility inspections and its “aggressive” tone towards Israel is concerning to Canada and other countries around the world.
“We, like all countries, are taking this risk very seriously. We are working with our partner nations,” said the defence minister.
MacKay said Canada is looking to the leadership of the United Nations with respect to sanctions, adding that Canada has been among the most aggressive countries in the world when it comes to imposing sanctions on Iran.
On a visit to Ottawa this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Iran’s nuclear program “perhaps the most troubling development in a sea of troubles” in the Middle East.
During the visit, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government has been absolutely “clear on the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran,” but he said Canada is rallying for peaceful resolution.
Netanyahu also paid a visit to Washington last week to discuss the matter with U.S. President Barack Obama. Following the meeting, White House spokesman Jay Carney noted there is a high-level co-operation between the Israeli and U.S militaries.
Western nations are concerned Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, but Iran insists it is developing nuclear rods to generate electricity and medical radioisotopes for cancer treatments.
Israel is believed to be considering a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.