Are we ready to reengage with Iran?

O

n Sept. 7, 2012, Canada closed its embassy in Tehran and expelled the Iranian diplomats from the Canadian soil, officially declaring the suspension of diplomatic relations with Iran.

Then-Foreign Minister John Baird said Iran was the world’s “most significant threat to global peace and security,” adding that the Canadian government would list Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act.

During the election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to reopen the diplomatic mission to Iran under certain conditions – one being the recently concluded nuclear arms agreement.

What do you think? Is it important to maintain a dialogue, even with those with whom you violently disagree? Should we have a diplomatic mission with the likes of Iran and North Korea? What about Russia? What about ISIL or the Taliban?

Join Philosophers’ Cafe on March 9 from 7 to 8 p.m. as Bob Hillier leads the discussion into this topic which could have an important impact on political and economic relations in the coming years. Hillier retired in 2010 from the then-Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAIT) now “Global Affairs Canada.”

He is currently giving a course with the Campbell River Elder College on Canadian Foreign Affairs called Canada and the World.

Once a month, a speaker will introduce a theme to the Café, and then all who attend can join in respectful, non-partisan conversation, or just sit back and listen.

You are also welcome to propose topics and introduce them at future Cafés. Themes should be of broad interest and national significance, and have an element of controversy to them.

As with each Café, Mr. Hillier will have just 10 minutes to introduce the topic, and then the floor is open for 50 minutes of moderated discussion.

The discussion takes place in the Tyee Lounge on the top floor of  Berwick By The Sea, 1353 16th Ave. in Campbell River.