The West Needs to Take the Politics of Women in ISIS Seriously

Well worth reading and reflecting upon that these were conscious choices by the women involved and that they should not be portrayed as victims:

In recent weeks, the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have closed in on the last remaining Islamic State holdout in eastern Syria. The remains of the so-called caliphate occupy less than half of a square mile of a small village called Baghuz, and all but a few hundred remaining insurgents have been driven out of the area by U.S. airstrikes and Kurdish ground operations. Over a thousand fighters and civilians, including many Islamic State militants’ wives and children, have fled. The SDF houses them in camps such as al-Hol, where humanitarian conditions are dire and the application of international law is ambiguous at best.

In the camps, the muhajirat, that is, Western women who joined the Islamic State, are easy to find. And tales of muhajirat like the American Hoda Muthana and the British Shamima Begum “begging to come home” have dominated headlines over the last two weeks. Their stories are part of a wave of recent coverage of Islamic State women, much of it pointing to a supposedly new and uniquely dangerous “Islamic State women problem.” Unfortunately, many of these accounts rest on flimsy scholarship and irresponsible reporting. The sensationalist, politicized, and often factually misleading nature of some reports masks complex political dynamics and peddles tired cliches about women in war, now cast with Iraqis and Syrians instead of Palestinian, Chechen, Timorese, Lebanese, Tamil, or Nigerian women.

The persistent appeal and shock value of the “beautiful but deadly” female fighter depends on an assumption that women have no politics and that their only natural role in times of conflict is to play the (usually sexualized) victim. Media coverage and rhetoric that reduces conflict-affected women to rape victims, sex slaves, or, most recently, “ISIS brides” lends itself to policy responses that have terrible consequences for innocent people. Women’s presumed victimhood has been deployed to justify military intervention, to excuse or obscure widespread human rightsabuses of civilians, and to privilege the judgment of external actors or local male elites over the perspectives of local women about what they need in the aftermath of war. Over-simplified victimization narratives are so entrenched that evidence of women’s political agency in wartime reads as either false consciousness (“ISIS lures women with kittens, Nutella”) or as a monstrous upending of femininity and the natural order.

Sensationalized accounts may garner far more clicks thansober social science, but the bland truth is that women in the Islamic State fall into well-established patterns.

For one, the idea that armed extremism has only recently become attractive to women is simply false. Since shortly after the Islamic State’s inception, women have taken on armed and unarmed roles in it; they have served as police in the group’s all-female Khansaa Brigade, as members of the all-female counterinsurgency brigade Umm al-Rayan, and as recruiters and propagandists. Both foreign and domestic recruits have participated in the brutal torture of Yazidi captives while also playing more domestic roles supporting male Islamic State fighters. Toggling back and forth between violent and nonviolent activities is not unique to the women who have participated in the Islamic State, however. In fact, this is the norm.

Further, although some reports have painted women’s voluntary participation in the Islamic State as unexpected given the group’s ideas about gender, it is not surprising in light of the histories of women in other Islamist and violent movements. Although less likely in groups that identify with Salafi doctrines, women’s participation, including in combat roles, still occurs. For example, women made significant support and frontline contributions to groups in Kashmir and fundamentalist organizations in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

More nuanced reporting on women who joined the Islamic State highlights a broad range of motivations for joining, including survival and coercion as well as status and deeply held commitments to the group’s doctrines. This, too, is consistent with extensive research on women’s participation in other conflicts, which finds that their motivations are deeply political and suggests that they generally have the same reasons for joining armed organizations as men do. Portraying Islamic State women’s behavior as unique to this organization is decontextualizing and counterproductive. It feeds into arguments about the singular brutality of the Islamic State that have been used to justify a heavily military-focused response likely to undermine post-conflict recovery.

Western governments would do well to confront the fact that many Islamic State women reported feeling more liberated after they had joined, not because they liked fighting but because they believed that men in the Islamic State respected their commitment as Muslims. Many of the muhajirat in particular reported fleeing isolation, disaffection, and discrimination as Muslim women in the West. Stripping them of citizenship and otherwise treating Muslims as second-class citizens has every chance of contributing to the dynamics that led women to join in the first place. The same goes for blanket suspicion of anyone wearing a niqab.

Portraying the women of the Islamic State exclusively as victims to be saved or monsters to be feared strips women of their humanity and denies them the complexity, nuance, and depth that media and policymakers readily afford to men. Post-conflict policy that fails to take women’s politics seriously will only feed cycles of violence and impede the pursuit of a sustainable peace.

Source: The West Needs to Take the Politics of Women in ISIS Seriously

2017 Was the Year I Learned About My White Privilege : Max Boot – Foreign Policy

I regularly scan Commentary magazine writers and this article by Max Boot in Foreign Policy is one of the better ones on white privilege and how he came to understand the concept and reality. Canadians in denial should read this and reflect:

In college — this was in the late 1980s and early 1990s at the University of California, Berkeley — I used to be one of those smart-alecky young conservatives who would scoff at the notion of “white male privilege” and claim that anyone propagating such concepts was guilty of “political correctness.” As a Jewish refugee from the Soviet Union, I felt it was ridiculous to expect me to atone for the sins of slavery and segregation, to say nothing of the household drudgery and workplace discrimination suffered by women. I wasn’t racist or sexist. (Or so I thought.) I hadn’t discriminated against anyone. (Or so I thought.) My ancestors were not slave owners or lynchers; they were more likely victims of the pogroms.

I saw America as a land of opportunity, not a bastion of racism or sexism. I didn’t even think that I was a “white” person — the catchall category that has been extended to include everyone from a Mayflower descendant to a recently arrived illegal immigrant from Ireland. I was a newcomer to America who was eager to assimilate into this wondrous new society, and I saw its many merits while blinding myself to its dark side.

Well, live and learn. A quarter century is enough time to examine deeply held shibboleths and to see if they comport with reality. In my case, I have concluded that my beliefs were based more on faith than on a critical examination of the evidence. In the last few years, in particular, it has become impossible for me to deny the reality of discrimination, harassment, even violence that people of color and women continue to experience in modern-day America from a power structure that remains for the most part in the hands of straight, white males. People like me, in other words. Whether I realize it or not, I have benefitted from my skin color and my gender — and those of a different gender or sexuality or skin color have suffered because of it.

This sounds obvious, but it wasn’t clear to me until recently. I have had my consciousness raised. Seriously.

This doesn’t meant that I agree with America’s harshest critics — successors to the New Left of the 1960s who saw this country as an irredeemably fascist state that they called “AmeriKKKa.” Judging by historical standards or those of the rest of the world, America remains admirably free and enlightened. Minorities are not being subject to ethnic cleansing like the Rohingya in Burma. Women are not forced to wear all-enveloping garments as in Saudi Arabia. No one is jailed for criticizing our supreme leader as in Russia.

The country is becoming more aware of oppression and injustice, which have long permeated our society, precisely because of growing agitation to do something about it. Those are painful but necessary steps toward creating a more equal and just society. But we are not there yet, and it is wrong to pretend otherwise. It is even more pernicious to cling to the conceit, so popular among Donald Trump’s supporters, that straight white men are the “true” victims because their unquestioned position of privilege is now being challenged by uppity women, gay people, and people of color.

I used to take a reflexively pro-police view of arguments over alleged police misconduct, thinking that cops were getting a bum rap for doing a tough, dangerous job. I still have admiration for the vast majority of police officers, but there is no denying that some are guilty of mistreating the people they are supposed to serve. Not all the victims of police misconduct are minorities — witness a blonde Australian woman shot to death by a Minneapolis police officer after she called 911, or an unarmed white man shotto death by a Mesa, Arizona, officer while crawling down a hotel hallway — but a disproportionate share are.

The videos do not lie. One after another, we have seen the horrifying evidence on film of cops arresting, beating, even shooting black people who were doing absolutely nothing wrong or were stopped for trivial misconduct. For African-Americans, and in particular African-American men, infractions like jaywalking or speeding or selling cigarettes without tax stamps can incite corporal, or even capital, punishment without benefit of judge or jury. African-Americans have long talked about being stopped for “driving while black.” I am ashamed to admit I did not realize what a serious and common problem this was until the videotaped evidence emerged. The iPhone may well have done more to expose racism in modern-day America than the NAACP.

Of course, the problem is not limited to the police; they merely reflect the racism of our society, which is not as severe as it used to be but remains real enough. I realized how entrenched this problem remains when an African-American friend — a well-educated, well-paid, well-dressed woman — confessed that she did not want to walk into a department store carrying in her purse a pair of jeans that she planned to give to a friend later in the day. Why not? Because she was afraid that she would be accused of shoplifting! This is not something that would occur to me, simply because the same suspicion would not attach to a middle-aged, middle-class white man.

The larger problem of racism in our society was made evident in Donald Trump’s election, despite — or because of — his willingness to dog-whistle toward white nationalists with his pervasive bashing of Mexicans, Muslims, and other minorities. Trump even tried to delegitimize the first African-American president by claiming he wasn’t born in this country, and now he goes after African-American football players who kneel during the playing of the anthem to protest police brutality. (Far from being concerned about police misconduct, which disproportionately targets people of color, Trump actively encourages it.)

Adam Serwer argues persuasively in the Atlantic that Trump’s election could not be explained by “economic anxiety,” because the poorest voters — those making less than $50,000 a year — voted predominantly for Hillary Clinton. On the other hand, “Trump defeated Clinton among white voters in every income category,” from those making less than $30,000 to those making more than $250,000. In other words, Serwer writes, Trump does not lead a “working-class coalition; it is a nationalist one.” That doesn’t mean that every Trump supporter is a racist; it does mean that Trump’s victory has revealed that racism and xenophobia are more widespread than I had previously realized.

As for sexism, its scope has been made plain by the horrifying revelations of widespread harassment, assault, and even rape perpetrated by powerful men from Hollywood to Washington. The Harvey Weinstein scandal has opened the floodgates, leading to the naming and shaming of a growing list of rich and powerful men — including Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Roy Moore, and John Conyers — who are alleged to have abused their positions of authority to force themselves upon women or, in some cases, men.

As with the revelations of police brutality, so too with sexual harassment: I am embarrassed and ashamed that I did not understand how bad the problem is. I had certainly gotten some hints from my female friends of the kind of harassment they have endured, but I never had any idea it was this bad or this common — or this tolerated. Even now, while other men are being fired for their misconduct, Trump continues to sit in the Oval Office despite credible allegations of sexual assault from nearly 20 different women.

I now realize something I should have learned long ago: that feminist activists had a fair point when they denounced the “patriarchy” for oppressing women. Sadly, this oppression, while less severe than it used to be, remains a major problem in spite of the impressive strides the U.S. has taken toward greater gender equality.

This doesn’t mean that I am about to join the academic political correctness brigade in protesting “microaggressions” and agitating against free speech. I remain a classical liberal, and I am disturbed by attempts to infringe on freedom of speech in the name in fighting racism, sexism, or other ills. But I no longer think, as I once did, that “political correctness” is a bigger threat than the underlying racism and sexism that continue to disfigure our society decades after the civil rights and women’s rights movements. If the Trump era teaches us anything, it is how far we still have to go to realize the “unalienable Rights” of all Americans to enjoy “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” regardless of gender, sexuality, religion, or skin color.

via 2017 Was the Year I Learned About My White Privilege – Foreign Policy

The Use and Abuse of Diversity in Canada’s Foreign Policy | CIPS

Natalie Brender on diaspora politics, the risks involved, and the current approach of the Government:

What is surprising, though, is that the Ottawa Forum speaker who most explicitly mentioned Canada’s diversity as a foreign policy asset to be exploited did so ambivalently. Former Prime Minister Joe Clark challenged policy thinkers to see that Canada’s most valuable assets in today’s global environment are the ‘soft power’ capacities of our people, which enable us to influence other countries through leadership and advocacy. This capacity should be deployed, he continued, by using diaspora members as informal ‘diplomats’ representing Canadian interests and values to their countries of origin.

On the other hand, Clark also called it “seductive but dangerous” for Canada’s government to involve diaspora communities in foreign policy. The reason for this seeming contradiction was his concern about what happens to Canada’s social fabric when government uses foreign policy as a political tool for targeting the votes of specific diaspora communities. In the context of highly divisive international disputes, a government’s packaging of foreign policy with partisan politics conveys to Canadian diaspora groups on the ‘non-favoured’ side of disputes that they are not part of the government’s calculated ‘base’ of voter support. Effectively, such groups become—and realize themselves to be—discounted from the democratic calculus.

It’s no reach to see the current government’s targeting of diaspora groups through Jason Kenney’s outreach and John Baird’s foreign policy at the heart of such a worry. The Conservatives’ political stance on Middle East and security issues has effectively discounted the votes and standing of most Muslim Canadians—and has amplified the views of some by no means all Canadian Jews. It’s a dangerous manoeuver in light of its potential impact on Canada’s social cohesion.

ICYMI, my Shopping for Votes Can Undermine Canada’s Fine Balance takes a somewhat softer approach but largely agrees on the risks of the Government’s current approach.

The Use and Abuse of Diversity in Canada’s Foreign Policy | CIPS.

For the record: Romeo Dallaires last speech in the Senate

Romeo Dallaire’s call to arms and condemnation of “huff and puff” or “lecture and leave” diplomacy:

That is why Canada still has a role to play; it simply needs to reclaim its position as a leader in resolving international conflicts and preventing atrocities. Canada is not currently fulfilling that role.

What we do have, however, is a proud tradition of championing human rights and peace around the world. Indeed, Canadians played a key role in the creation of the Charter of the United Nations; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the International Criminal Court; the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction; and the Responsibility to Protect. We more or less invented modern peacekeeping.

We have exceptional armed forces, made up of bright and courageous young men and women — veterans nearly to the man and woman. We have a talented and dedicated diplomatic corps. We have development people and other whole-of-government agencies prepared to deploy and whose ingenuity is invaluable in today’s increasingly complex and ambiguous operations.

We have a vibrant civil society that won’t stop banging at the door even after we’ve changed the locks. Indeed, we have many tools we can deploy in our engagement with the world. We most definitely have a citizenry that takes pride in all of the above.

In recent years, however, things have changed. Today we have 43 peacekeepers deployed out of a possible 110,000 peacekeepers worldwide. Today we have to dance around the words “responsibility to protect” and the International Criminal Court, and even the term “child soldiers” to protect out of fear of having to actually maybe turn our alleged principled foreign policy into principled action.

Today we point to the humanitarian aid dollars we’ve given, which are never enough, and proclaim we’ve done our part. Today we have more sabre-rattling and less credibility; more expressions of concern and less contingency planning; more endless consultation with allies, or so we are told, and less real action being taken; and more empty calls for respect for human rights and less actual engagement with the violators.

I have said this before, but I cannot stress it enough: If we are to overcome the challenges facing the world today, we need transcendent leadership with the deepest conviction and the most honourable of intentions. In other words, we need statesmanship. There is a dearth of statesmanship, of taking risk, demonstrating flexibility, innovation and humility. The question is: When will Canada finally answer the call again?

For the record: Romeo Dallaire’s last speech in the Senate – Macleans.ca.

U.S. investors begin to imagine a return to Iran – Washington Post

Not terribly surprising that US companies, like companies from other countries, are positioning themselves for a post-sanctions environment should the current nuclear talks lead to a deal:

“There will be phenomenal opportunities for American investors. I would definitely consider investing in Iran, and I think that’s the universal answer,” said Dick Simon, chief executive of RSI, a Boston-based real estate development and investment management company, who helped organize a recent trip to Iran composed of mostly U.S. entrepreneurs, as well as several who were Canadian or British.

In the absence of diplomatic relations, such contact can serve to de-escalate tensions between the two governments — which analysts say is a strategic goal for the administrations of President Obama and Rouhani — as negotiations over Iran’s controversial nuclear program are ongoing.“

An increasing number of Americans, both inside and outside government, understand the value of whetting the appetite of business people in Iran,” said Reza Marashi, research director at the National Iranian American Council NIAC.

According to Marashi, NIAC has been inundated this year by calls from Americans who want to travel to Iran. The organization, which favors greater contact between Americans and Iranians, is one of the few non-governmental entities in regular communication with officials in both governments.

As to Canada, still stuck in its standard “huff and puff” rhetoric, with no sign of change (see my earlier piece in the GlobeIf Iran opens for business, Canada will need a new approach – and fast).

U.S. investors begin to imagine a return to Iran – The Washington Post.

Roland Paris: Scripted foreign ministries will disappear from public debate | Embassy

Good piece by Roland Paris on digital diplomacy. Nails the big challenge for the Canadian government at the end (broader than just for foreign policy):

“Time will tell. In the Canadian example, Canada was slow to recognize the importance of digital diplomacy. “The Canadian government talks about digital diplomacy and direct diplomacy as two different things. They did get on top of [direct diplomacy] using technology to circumvent constraints [to free speech] on Iranians through the Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran, alongside the [University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs]. For a while Foreign Minister [John] Baird was saying ‘Canada is a leader in digital diplomacy,’ displaying the fact that he didn’t seem to understand that digital diplomacy is so much greater than using electronic tools to allow the dissidents of a country that we have hostile relations with to communicate with each other.

“[John] Baird and the ministry did eventually…announce a new initiative in digital diplomacy, which was essentially to go forth and Tweet, to use these tools. He explicitly said that there has to be a greater tolerance of risk. So is this going to continue, or is this going to be reeled in? We’ll see when the first mistakes are made.

“In the United States, there have been mistakes in digital diplomacy, which did not lead to a retreat at all. The question in Canada is, we have a government that has a particular penchant for message control, compared to most other democratic governments; what will this government do when one of its diplomats follows Minister Baird’s advice, takes risks on Twitter, and puts a foot wrong? That will be the proof, and it will be a test for Minister Baird, and it will also be a test of his ability to deal with message control officials in the Prime Minister’s Office. He’s going to have to show that he meant what he said, when he said there will be greater tolerance of risk, and that might mean facing down message control officials in the Prime Minister’s Office. We’ll see if he can do that.”

Roland Paris: Scripted foreign ministries will disappear from public debate | Embassy – Canadas Foreign Policy Newspaper.

Justin Trudeau can’t ignore domestic concerns in foreign policy

John Ibbitson on diaspora politics and how that will influence any future Liberal government’s foreign policy. He is right, of course, that all Canadian governments, whether Liberal or Conservative, respond to diaspora concerns, always have, and always will, and the change is more in the number and relative influence of diasporas, rather than the principle. Democracy, as he notes, responds to interests; the more organized, cohesive and large the diaspora, the more the influence. We are living in a “shopping for votes” world.

But what he and others get wrong is the assumption that diaspora voters are single issue voters (some are, most likely not) and that they all share the same views on diaspora issues. There is political diversity within ethnic communities with respect to both domestic and international issues. Of course, for every diaspora pushing one perspective another exists with an opposing one (e.g., Canadian Jews and Arab Canadians, Armenian and Turkish Canadians etc):

“Diasporas are a huge problem in foreign policy,” he observed. Immigrants’ unwillingness to sever political ties with their homeland “is a problem with diasporas everywhere,” he added. The duty of political leaders is to transcend the “old views” of immigrant communities and craft a responsible, enlightened foreign policy, something Mr. Westall believes the Harper government has conspicuously failed to do.

Mr. Westall is absolutely right. Canadian Tamils influence Conservative foreign policy toward Sri Lanka; Canadian Sikhs influence Conservative foreign policy toward India; Chinese Canadians influence the Harper government’s approach to China; Ukrainian Canadians influence the Harper government’s approach to Ukraine.

But what would you expect? When Canada’s population was mostly of French, English, Irish and Scottish descent, does anyone believe our foreign policy was anything other than diaspora-driven?

Forgive this repetition, but over the past two decades we have imported the equivalent of two Torontos-worth of immigrants, almost all of them from what used to be called the Third World. Any political party that wants to succeed must earn their support. Political parties that lose the immigrant vote lose the election.

The Liberals believe that they can reconnect with Canada’s immigrant community without pandering to parochial concerns. They believe they can improve Canada’s reputation abroad and revitalize the Canadian economy through trade while recognizing the hard realities of today’s global environment.

If so, Mr. Trudeau’s supporters may be surprised to discover that Canada’s foreign policy under his leadership is essentially what it was under the Conservatives, but with softer language and a warmer smile.

Again, governments of any stripe make policy choices of which diasporas to support, and which organizations within each diaspora. How they express that support, how they manage it, and how they dismiss an opposing diaspora’s concern, however, can make a difference.

The Government has chosen a more muscular approach in articulating these choices. In some cases, this is appropriate, in others, “softer language and a warmer smile” may be more effective to “harsher language and a cooler scowl” both domestically and internationally.

Justin Trudeau can’t ignore domestic concerns in foreign policy – The Globe and Mail.

If Iran opens for business, Canada will need a new approach – and fast – The Globe and Mail

Not part of my usual posts in this blog, but an opinion piece for The Globe and Mail on Canada’s relations with Iran. As this is behind a pay wall, text below:

Twenty five years ago, I arrived in Iran as part of the team that reopened our Embassy in Tehran, which had closed for some eight years following the escape of the Americans that had sought refuge with Canada. Following the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988, we had essentially been invited by the Iranian government, in part because of their interest in having access to North American oil and gas technology.

Given all the current commentary, for and against the Iran nuclear interim agreement, it is useful to think ahead about some of the possible implications for Canada about its current rhetoric on Iran in general, and the agreement in particular. We do not know whether the agreement will be implemented – both the U.S. and Iran have difficult domestic constituencies to deal with, and Ronald Reagan’s expression, “trust but verify” clearly applies and is shared by all parties to the agreement.

But should the agreement be implemented, and lead to either a series of further agreements or a final agreement, Canada should be prepared for that possibility. In that light, while the government and Foreign Minister John Baird have, in their terms, dialled down the rhetoric somewhat – and Iran is sophisticated enough to pick up on this – the government should develop an exit strategy for its current approach to Iran.

This is not unprecedented. The Conservative government started off with strong rhetoric on China, focussing on human rights, not trade, and was forced, given Canadian interests, to refocus on trade. Similarly, the government’s harsh rhetoric in 2012 over the Palestinian Authority’s statehood bid at the UN was similarly toned down following the renewed U.S. peace plan initiative, given that it was counterproductive for our relations with Israel, the United States and the PA.

The unveiling last month of the Global Markets Action Plan, focussing diplomatic efforts on economic diplomacy, suggests that “principles-based” foreign policy is either becoming an empty slogan, or at least only applicable to markets of marginal importance to Canada.

Should the interim agreement hold, and be followed by subsequent agreements further relaxing sanctions, Canada will need to review its sanctions policy to ensure that Canadian firms are not disadvantaged in comparison to our competitors. In contrast to 1988, when one of the main incentives for Iran was that Canada offered North American oil and gas technology without going through the United States, any removal of Canadian sanctions would likely be in lock-step with U.S. policies, with Canadian firms having no special advantages.

But easing of sanctions, without a coherent foreign policy aligned to our economic interests, is unlikely to be enough. We can expect pressure from the Canadian business community, particularly from Alberta oil and gas equipment suppliers, to ensure a level playing field, not only on the easing of sanctions, but on the broader foreign policy front.

The elements are not complex in theory, but are in practice:

Further dialling down of rhetoric on Iran.

Yes, prudence is required, but “huff and puff” language is unhelpful. Language used by the U.K. and U.S. strikes the right tone between giving space for the interim agreement while expressing appropriate caution;

Some public recognition that there are signs of change in Iran’s approach.

Yes, these are tentative, and yes, given the complexity of the Iranian regime’s internal politics, the messages are mixed, but most Iranians, both inside Iran and in the diaspora, understand the significance of Hassan Rouhani’s election. We should too.

Use our strong relationship with Israel to encourage Israel to tone down its rhetoric and reflect some of the more nuanced discussion within Israel itself.

While Israeli fears and caution are legitimate, the language and approach appears to have been largely counterproductive in shaping the US and world approach to Iran.

Start informal discussions with the Iranian government on normalization of relations.

We may have closed our Embassy but as the U.S. and others have shown, that does not preclude discussion. These informal discussions should allow us to follow the U.K. lead in reopening its Embassy in Tehran. The standard diplomatic caution of starting with representation at the chargé d’affaires level, as we did in 1988, reinforces the “trust but verify” of the interim agreement.

At present, we do not know if the interim agreement will be implemented, given all the internal and external constraints. However, to be prudent, the government should be prepared for the possibility that the interim agreement will succeed, and lead to further agreements. Given our economic interests, particularly in Alberta, and the sizeable Iranian Canadian community, sooner or later, we will likely be forced to move in that direction. Better to start preparing now and send appropriate signals now.

If Iran opens for business, Canada will need a new approach – and fast – The Globe and Mail.