Canada has placed Iran on its list of state sponsors of terrorism and will shut down its embassy in Tehran, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said.
Baird, speaking to reporters ahead of the opening of the annual summit of Pacific nation leaders here, said the skeleton Canadian Embassy staff in Tehran would be withdrawn immediately for their own safety.
Canada is also expelling all Iranian diplomats in Canada.
“Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today,” Baird said. “The government of Canada is formally listing Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.”
Baird said the federal government is also officially warning Canadians not to travel to Iran.
“Canadians who have Iranian nationality are warned in particular that the Iranian regime does not recognize the principle of dual nationality,” Baird said.
Baird cited a list of grievances including:
- Iran refuses to comply with the United Nations resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program
- Increasing military assistance to the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad
- Iran shelters and “materially supports” terrorist groups
- Routine threats to the existence of the state of Israel and “racist anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide,” Baird said.
- Repeated violations of the Vienna Convention which governs diplomatic relations between most countries of the world
- Worst violators of human rights.
“Under the circumstances, Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Tehran,” Baird said.
Baird said all Canadian diplomats have already left Iran.
Categories: Foreign affairs