Israel: Canada’s Split with Iran a ‘Call to Action’

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- In a television interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said until Iran sees a "clear red line," it will not stop its pursuit of nuclear arms.

The interview followed Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to sever diplomatic ties with Iran.

Netanyahu called the decision a "clarion call to action," saying it should serve as an example to the international community. 

"I think everyone in Israel appreciates its forthright stand against a regime that brutalizes its own people, that colludes in the murder of tens of thousands in Syria, that denies the Holocaust, and calls for the eradication of the State of Israel, while pursuing an illicit program for developing nuclear weapons," Netanyahu told CBC.

"We have to build a wall, not of silence, but of condemnation and resolve," he continued. "Canada just put a very big brick in that wall that is necessary for the peace of the world."

In an earlier statement released Friday, Netanyahu thanked his Canadian counterpart for "taking a step that showed leadership and daring and that sends a clear message to Iran and the entire world."

"One week after the display of anti-Semitism and hatred in Tehran, the government of Canada is taking a moral step of the highest order," Netanyahu said, referring to the Non-Aligned Conference attended by 120 countries the first week in September.

"Canada's determination is very important in order for the Iranians to understand that they cannot continue their race after nuclear weapons. This practical measure needs to serve as an example of international responsibility for the global community. It is important that the international community join in this pressure by setting Iran clear red lines," the statement read.

Israel Hopes Others Will Follow

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told CBN News he hopes other countries will follow Canada's example.

"I think it's a good sign and I think more and more understand that the Iranians are just stalling. They're accelerating their very dangerous nuclear program and only by a concerted effort by the entire international community, with real economic political pressure, we can avoid other options that may be considered in order to stop Iran," he said.

Canada officially designated the Islamic Republic as a state sponsor of terrorism.

"The Iranian regime is providing increasing military assistance to the Assad regime [in Syria]; it refuses to comply with U.N. resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program; it routinely threatens the existence of Israel and engages in racist, anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide," Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said in a statement.

"It is among the world's worst violators of human rights; and it shelters and materially supports terrorist groups," he said.

International Community Needs to Act

Canadian Parliamentarian and international lawyer Irwin Cotler told CBN News in Jerusalem that the international community now needs to take steps based on those considerations.

"One is enhanced sanctions regarding the nuclear threat; two is to hold the Iranian leadership to account for their state sanctions incitement to genocide, equally with regard to their threats and assaults on diplomats and finally for their violations of rights of the Iranian people," Cotler said.

"We have not undertaken the necessary juridictal initiatives mandated in international law to hold the Iranian leadership to account," he added.

US 'Not Setting Deadlines'

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Bloomberg Radio on Sunday the U.S. is "not setting deadlines" and still believes diplomacy is "by far the best approach" to bring Iran to a "good-faith negotiation."

Clinton granted the interview after meetings in Vladivostok, Russia, at an Asia-Pacific forum.

"[Israel is] more anxious about a quick response because they feel that they're right in the bull's eye, so to speak, but we're convinced we have more time to focus on these sanctions -- to do everything we can to bring Iran to a good-faith negotiation," Clinton said.

Clinton traveled to China and Russia last week seeking to unify the approach to Iran. According to Clinton, both China and Russia agree that Iran should not achieve nuclear armament.

Tehran: Current Canadian Government 'Racist'

Meanwhile, Tehran said Canada's decision was a misuse of international law, calling it "unprofessional, unconventional, and unjustifiable."

"The current government of Canada under the leadership of Mr. Stephen Harper is known for extreme policies in the domain of foreign policy," said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, Mehr news agency reported.

"The hostile behavior of the current racist government in Canada in reality follows the policies dictated by the Zionists and the British," Mehmanparast said.

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CBN News
Julie Stahl and Tzippe Barrow

Julie Stahl and Tzippe Barrow

CBN News Jerusalem Bureau

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