Statement by Minister Cannon on Iran's Decision to Further Enrich Uranium

(No. 63 - February 11, 2010 - 3:55 p.m. ET) The following is an edited transcript of a statement made to media by the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Iran's decision to further enrich nuclear material. The statement was made at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada headquarters at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, February 11, 2010.

"I'd like to say a few words regarding the Iranian regime's decision to further enrich uranium.

"Canada is deeply disappointed by the Iranian regime's decision to further enrich its nuclear material—in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. This regime continues to blatantly ignore its international obligations, and this threatens global security.

"Canada and the international community will not accept the regime's latest moves, which bring Iran considerably closer to possessing weapons-grade material. Iran must suspend its enrichment activity and take immediate steps toward transparency and compliance.

"Iran's regime must address the serious lack of confidence that members of the international community have in its government.

"As Prime Minister [Stephen] Harper said yesterday, Canada will continue to work with our allies to find strong and viable solutions, including sanctions, to hold Iran to account.

"Canada will use its G8 presidency to continue to focus international attention and action on the Iranian regime. I will also be advancing this at the G8 Foreign Ministers' meeting in Gatineau in March.

"The Government of Canada is also seriously concerned with the Iranian regime's continued stifling of democracy, its blatant disregard of basic human rights and its irresponsible behaviour—behaviour that is threatening regional and global stability. It is completely unacceptable that the regime continues to use brute force and intimidation in responding to peaceful demonstrations."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874