Ottawa: Canada has closed its embassy in Iran and will expel all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada within five days, Foreign Minister John Baird said on Friday, denouncing Tehran as the biggest threat to global security.
Baird cited Iran’s nuclear programme, its hostility towards Israel and Iranian military assistance to the government of President Bashar Al Assad Syria, which is locked in civil war with rebels.
“Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today,” Baird said in a statement, accusing Iran of showing blatant disregard for the safety of foreign diplomats.
“Under the circumstances, Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Iran ... Diplomatic relations between Canada and Iran have been suspended,” he said.
Ottawa has long had poor relations with Iran, in part because of its enmity towards close Canadian ally Israel.
The United States has not had a functioning embassy in Tehran since the hostage crisis of 1979. Britain’s embassy in Tehran has been closed since it was stormed by protesters last November.