Italy to Represent Canadian Government in Iran

Italian embassy in Tehran, Iran. Italy has announced that it will represent Canada's interests in Iran following the closure of the Canadian embassy in the country. (Google Maps)

Italy announced this week that it will represent the Canadian government in Iran following the departure of Canadian diplomats from the Middle Eastern country. The Harper government announced on September 7th that it had closed the Canadian embassy in Tehran and ordered the Iranian embassy in Canada closed and Iranian diplomats to leave Canada within five days.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, known to be a strong ally of Israel’s hard-line Likud government, said that diplomatic relations with Iran were being cut because “[Iran] routinely threatens the existence of Israel and engages in racist anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide”.

Many in the Canadian diplomatic community, including three former Canadian ambassadors to Iran, have criticized the decision however. Kenneth Taylor, who was Canadian ambassador to Iran from 1977 to 1980 and famously helped American diplomats escape Iran during the hostage crisis, said about the move: “I really can’t see the rationale of this move … It’s a very bold stroke to sever diplomatic relations and close the embassy within five days.”

Former Canadian ambassador to Iran from 1972 to 1977, James George, said in an interview with the Globe and Mail that having a Canadian embassy in Iran was important “in defending our citizens who are on death row in Iran, and not have to go through another embassy that has other priorities.”

Mr. George, who is 93, said the move makes a Middle East war more likely: “[the embassy closure] fuels speculation about a possible attack, adds to the tension and the likelihood that something will happen. I think it was the wrong move for that reason.”

John Mundy, who was Canada’s ambassador to Iran until 2007, also weighed in with strong words about the decision:

“This is the first time in decades that a Canadian prime minister, Liberal or Conservative, appears to be advocating approaches that reduce diplomatic opportunities for peace during an international crisis”

Despite the criticism, the move has been received positively by the majority of the Canadian public, with 72 percent of Canadians in a recent Angus Reid survey saying they supported cutting diplomatic ties with Iran.

2 thoughts on “Italy to Represent Canadian Government in Iran

  1. There is a long time that the embassy of Canada in Iran not issues any services for immigrant and latter it was closed by Jason Kenney,s orders, also Damascus embassy is closed by war since several months ago,however some persons have decided to apply from another country so what do you recommend for people who live in Iran?
    Thanks in advance

  2. Honorable Ambassador of Italy to the interests of Canada in Iran
    I am Iraj Naseri from Iran, born in 1955
    My brother Parviz Naseri from Iran, born in 1957
    My brother and I are not allowed to have any job in the Islamic Republic for living expenses since 1980.
    We Iran life is very hard and difficult
    We are under threat in terms of lives and we may be killed in Iran soon
    We need your immediate help in Iran
    We do not have visa requirements from your embassy
    We do not have money to travel to another country
    We need visas and free plane tickets, not cash
    To arrive in your country, we must apply to immigrate to Canada through UNHCHR
    We do not know English
    Please help us
    Help help help
    Phone Call
    Good luck

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *