OTTAWA–Canada vowed Sunday to keep its sanctions regime against Iran after a preliminary deal on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program, calling for a more conclusive accord. The deal was reached in marathon talks in Geneva that ended before dawn after protracted negotiations between Iran and the so called P5+1 group of United Nations Security Council permanent members plus Germany. But Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird insisted that Ottawa would keep its “tough” sanctions “in full force” until negotiators clinch a permanent agreement. “Effective sanctions have brought the regime to present a more moderate front and open the door to negotiations,” he said in a statement.
“Today’s deal cannot be abused or undermined by deception. The Iranian people deserve the freedom and prosperity that they have been denied for too long by the regime’s nuclear ambitions.” Under the deal, Tehran will limit uranium enrichment — the area that raises most suspicions over Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons drive — to low levels that can only be used for civilian energy purposes.