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VLADIVOSTOK, Russia — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has severed Canadian ties with Iran over its sponsorship of terrorism and amid fears about the safety of diplomats in the country.
Baird says the Canadian embassy in Tehran will close immediately and Iranian diplomats in Canada have been given five days to leave.
The skeleton staff that was operating Canada’s Tehran mission has already fled the country.
Baird says he’s worried about the safety of diplomats in Tehran following recent attacks on the British embassy there.
“The Iranian regime has shown blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantee of protection for diplomatic personnel,” he said.
“Under the circumstances, Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Iran. Our diplomats serve Canada as civilians and their safety is our No. 1 priority.”
He also condemned the regime as a sponsor of terrorism.
“Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today,” he said.
He recited a litany of complaints about Iran, including its support for the Assad regime in Syria, its nuclear program, its threats to Israel and its abysmal human rights record.
“The Iranian regime is providing increasing military assistance to the Assad regime,” Baird said.
“It refuses to comply with United Nations resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program. It routinely threatens the existence of the state of Israel, and engages in racist anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide.”
Foreign Affairs is also warning ordinary Canadians to avoid any travel to Iran.
See Watchwoman on the Wall related post:
Obama Gets Iran’s Endorsement – White House adviser gets $100K
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Posted by Donna Calvin — Friday, September 07, 2012
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