Canadians live in a very dangerous world today. The Kazemi case tells us that we can trust little in our government to protect us.
There is surely a major issue involved. If tyrannies can treat murder or torture Canadians and have no consequences, then all of us are ever more at risk. The safety of Canadians takes precedent over trade. After all if we are not safe, we cannot trade anyway.
Lord Palmerston understood this and took Britain to the edge of war with France over the mistreatment of Don Pacifico,
"Conflict between Britain and Greece that originated when the home of David Pacifico (known as Don Pacifico), a British subject living in Athens, was burned down in an anti-Semitic riot.
In support of his demand for compensation, Viscount Palmerston sent a naval squadron to blockade the Greek coast. Palmerston's policy drew protests from France and Russia as well as Britain's House of Lords, but he won the support of the Commons after arguing that Britain should protect its subjects from injustice wherever they might live" Enc Brit
He understood that threats to a man who had never been to Britain but who was a British subject represented a threat to all Britons.
He drew on the precedent of Rome in the defense of this policy.
"I therefore fearlessly challenge the verdict which this House, as representing a political, a commercial, a constitutional country, is to give on the question now brought before it; whether the principles on which the foreign policy of Her Majesty's Government has been conducted, and the sense of duty which has led us to think ourselves bound to afford protection to our fellow subjects abroad, are proper and fitting guides for those who are charged with the Government of England; and whether, as the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity, when he could say Civis Romanus sum; so also a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England, will protect him against injustice and wrong"
I see this not as bluster but as essential to keep our nationals safe in a very dangerous world. We do not have to send a gunboat but we can and should pursue cases like this relentlessly in the international courts.