News Agencies – September 7, 2012
The Canadian Harper government has closed the Canadian Embassy in Iran and ordered all Iranian diplomats in Canada to leave the country. The move effectively severs ties with the Islamic Republic after years of increasingly tense relations marked by accusations, warnings and sanctions.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in Russia for an APEC summit, has repeatedly described Iran as the greatest threat to global security, a statement echoed by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird as he announced the embassy closure.
Baird revealed all Canadian diplomats had left Iran, while Iranian diplomats in Ottawa have been instructed to leave within five days. While the Harper government often co-ordinates its actions on Iran, such as the levelling of sanctions with the U.S. and other allies against Iran, Baird said Canada is the only country suspending diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic at this time, calling it a “made-in-Canada decision.”