Iranian Vice-President says Afghanistan makes Canada look bad
Ever since Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted that there are no homosexuals in Iran many people have had a hard time taking Iranian politicians seriously.
So when Iran's Vice President, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie recently suggested that Canada's role in Afghanistan is hurting its international reputation, one could be forgiven for not taking him seriously.
Ironically, Mashaie offered the sentiment during an unofficial visit to Ottawa meant to improve relations between the two countries.
Indeed, Canada is in Afghanistan refusing to allow the Taliban to return to power so it can oppress women, ethnically cleanse and harbour terrorists. And that hurts our international reputation.
"It's good news that Canada is leaving in 2011 and we welcome that," Mashaie noted.
Given the amount of material support Iran has provided the Taliban with, there's little question that Iran would prefer that Canada leave the country. Little more question that they would rather have an Islamic fundamentalist government in power in Afghanistan than a democratic regime friendly (or at the very least not hostile) to the west.
For his own part, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon notes the internationalism of the mission, and how it reflects on Canada's positive role in that country. "Our engagement has earned the praise of international partners, most recently from [U.S.] President [Barack] Obama," Cannon notes. "The people of Iran stand to benefit greatly from a secure and stable Afghanistan. We will continue to encourage the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to play a constructive role in the affairs of neighbouring countries. Canada has urged the government of Iran to take appropriate measures to ensure that no support is provided to any insurgent group in Afghanistan."
Mashaie also complained about some comments that Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently made about Iran.
"It concerns me that we have a regime ]in Tehran] with an ideology that is obviously evil," Harper mused. "My government is a very strong supporter of the state of Israel and considers the Iranian threats to be absolutely unacceptable and beyond the pale."
"Anti-Semitism is a pernicious evil that must be exposed, that must be confronted, that must be repudiated, whenever and wherever it appears," Harper continued. "Under our government, Canada will remain an unyielding defender of Jewish religious freedom, a forceful opponent of anti-Semitism in all of its forms and a staunch supporter of a secure and democratic state of Israel."
Mashaie complained that Harper's suggestion that Iran's government is "evil" were evidence of "weakness".
While Harper's comments certainly exaggerate the Iranian state's comparative malevolence, who could possibly think a country that beats and rapes the citizens of a foreign country to death, brutally whips homosexuals (then denies their very existence), and sends police to brutalize womens' rights protesters could possibly be evil?
One can only wonder if the Iranian administration actually wonders why no one takes them seriously.