Iran’s support for the Russia in its war on Ukraine is a sign of the regime’s “inhumanity,” Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly-Zamkuwire - Zamkuwire.com

Iran’s support for the Russia in its war on Ukraine is a sign of the regime’s “inhumanity,” Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly-Zamkuwire

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Iran’s support for the Russia in its war on Ukraine is a sign of the regime’s “inhumanity,” Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said on Thursday.

She made the comment during a joint press conference alongside U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, following meetings the two held in Ottawa.

“We look forward to working with the U.S. on shedding light on Iran’s involvement in Ukraine, and making sure that they’re held accountable,” Joly told reporters.

Iran has been supplying Russia with hundreds of drones in recent months, according to the Associated Press, which Moscow has used to execute brutal bombing campaigns in Ukraine. Russia’s Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones were reportedly used in an attack on Kyiv less than two weeks ago.

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The so-called “suicide drones,” laden with explosives, struck Ukraine’s capital the morning of Oct. 17, setting buildings ablaze and tearing a hole in one of them. People scurried for shelter or tried to shoot down the kamikazes.

The U.S. Department of Defense also released an assessment last week that said, “Iranian military personnel are on the ground in Crimea assisting Russian military personnel to conduct these drone operations in Ukraine.”

Iran’s regime has also made headlines in recent months for its brutality within its own borders.

Canada announced a series of sanctions against Iranian leaders and officials as Iran viciously clamped down on protests in recent weeks.

The demonstrations erupted across Iran since the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman who died after being detained by the country’s so-called morality police for not wearing her hijab in accordance with their rules.

Click to play video: '‘I am a free woman’: Students in Iran protest 40 days after Mahsa Amini’s death'

‘I am a free woman’: Students in Iran protest 40 days after Mahsa Amini’s death

 

Since them, citizens have taken to the streets to condemn the Iranian regime’s ongoing oppression of women — and to call for democracy.

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Iran’s decision to provide material support to Russia in its attempts to encroach on Ukrainian territory add “another level” to the Iranian regime’s “inhumanity,” Joly said.

“That’s why we will make sure that we hold them accountable.”

Blinken echoed Joly’s sentiment, assuring reporters that the two countries are “working together” in this pursuit of accountability.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is also worsening global food security due to Ukraine’s prominent role in global trade as a grain exporter — a role that was greatly diminished during the worst of Russia’s attacks.

While Ukraine grain exports have been increasing in recent weeks, Joly said Canada, as a “very important grain producer,” has a role to play in helping to fight food insecurity — “to continue to provide the world with our own grains and food.”

Canada has greatly increased its donations to the World Food Programme, Joly said.

“We’re now the fourth biggest donor in the world and my job is to make sure that…we shed light on the question of food security.”

Arctic will be next big geopolitical issue: Joly

As Russia encroaches on Ukraine’s territory with Iran’s support and China has increased posturing over its claims on Taiwan, the Canadian government is also looking to secure its own sovereignty up north.

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“The Arctic is without a doubt the next big geopolitical issue, and Canada intends to be a leader on the question,” Joly said on Thursday.

China has been increasing its presence in the Arctic region through its “Polar Silk Road” project, which it bills as a method of connecting world economies through the Arctic Ocean.

“China, which has declared itself a near-Arctic state, … has aspirations of northern influence,” Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre told the House of Commons national defence committee on Oct. 18.

“Russia seeks to undermine a rules-based international order, while China seeks to bend it to its advantage.”

Click to play video: 'Arctic co-operation ‘more important ever’ amid rising Russia, China tensions: Chief of defence staff'

Arctic co-operation ‘more important ever’ amid rising Russia, China tensions: Chief of defence staff

 

And while the moves up north don’t yet present a “clear” threat to Canada’s sovereignty — nor suggest that one will exist “today” nor “next year” — Eyre warned that Canada should move to tighten its grip on the region.

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“In the decades to come, that threat, that tenuous hold that we have on our sovereignty, at the extremities of this nation, is going to come under increasing challenge,” he said in a recent committee appearance.

“If the day arrives when that sovereignty is threatened, our presence (in the north) is limited.”

On top of that, the Canadian Armed Forces have been facing a major personnel crisis across the board — adding another layer of difficulty onto Canada’s ability to defend the Arctic.

The Canadian Forces are supposed to be adding about 5,000 troops to regular and reserve forces, to meet a growing list of demands, but are instead short more than 10,000 trained members — meaning about one in 10 positions are currently vacant.

While Joly is pledging that Canada will be a leader on the geopolitical question of the Arctic, Eyre said Canada will have to “invest in capabilities today” as it will take “decades” to shore up our readiness in the region.

“Preserving the security of Canada’s Arctic is a significant challenge, a challenge that will only become greater in the decades to come,” he said.

“Given the challenges of developing capabilities and infrastructure to operate in that harsh environment, it will take decades to be ready.”

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