In Surprising Move, Harper Gov Orders Expulsion of Iranian Diplomats and Closes Canada’s Embassy in Iran
In a surprise announcement today, the Harper government said that it is closing the Canadian embassy in Tehran and expelling all Iranian diplomats from Canada.
Many political commentators were puzzled by the abrupt decision, as there have been no recent public developments in the Iranian-Canadian relationship that seemingly could have motivated the move.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, a known anti-Iran hawk and supporter of Israel’s hard-line Likud government, said that “[Iran] routinely threatens the existence of Israel and engages in racist anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide” to explain the cause of the closure. Baird also said the closure was motivated by worries about the safety of Canadian diplomats in Iran.
One potential explanation for the timing of the closure is that the Harper government is facing a deadline from the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, legislation it passed in March that makes countries on a special list exempt from immunity to lawsuits for culpability in terrorist attacks worldwide. The deadline for the compilation of that list was six months after the passing of the legislation, a date coming up next week.
Reacting to the news, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparst described the Harper government as having a “radical foreign policy” that placed Israel’s interests ahead of those of Canadians. A message on the website of the Embassy of Iran in Canada said:
“According to the hostile decision of the Canadian government, the Iranian embassy in Ottawa has been closed and inevitably any consulate services for fellow Iranians has stopped. Please avoid sending any consulate affairs documents. The Embassy is closed”
Many in Canada’s large Iranian-Canadian community expressed shock at the decision. The termination of diplomatic relations will affect the many Iranian-Canadians who regularly visit family in Iran by eliminating consular services on both sides of the trip.
Most Canadian consular services for Iranian nationals were already moved to the Embassy of Canada in Ankara, Turkey when the Visa and Immigration section of the Embassy of Canada in Tehran was closed in April, so the effect of the closure will be more pronounced for Iranian consular services in Canada than Canadian consular services in Iran.
Several Iranian pro-democracy activists also expressed concern about the termination of diplomatic contact as they said it would close off the most important avenue through which the Canadian government exerts pressure on the Iranian government to release Iranian-Canadian political prisons and commute death sentences.
Breaking news – Canada becomes the new leader in country rankings of “Hypocritical joke in world affairs!”
How long can they maintain this position with such extensive competition from the US, Europe & Israel many may ask, but wanna-be neocon John Baird is on the job…
All on Earth want peace not war only the wicked look to make war.
Solar Energy is the smart way to make energy it is Clean and Safe.
Why on Earth with all the world going to Renewable Energy Solar Wind and others, would one country look to Unclean Nuclear Energy? When you have 97 million people that live in a country that oil is number one and gas cars number two in source for money for its government and its people. Are its leaders that dumb not to see what all on Earth are doing? Canada’s Government saved 10 million with Solar Energy back in the 1980’s with its Channel Markers Marine Navigational Aids. All on Earth could have learned a thing or two from this. All on Earth can see again Canada doing what most all should have done long ago. When one will not let others read the Bible do you wait for them to tell you, you can no longer read our LORD’s word or Have a Bible.
Iran is could have a real bad mishap with all the earthquakes they have been having lately.
The Lord’s Little Helper
Paul Felix Schott
How long do you think Oil supply lasts?? Of course, not for ever.I am Canadian but I think real, why west should be selfish to want every thing for themselves. If Iran runs out of Energy who will come to help them? Israel????
If you follow the news you will know that even Saudi Arabia is expected to be out of oil not in very far future. No body wants war, but Canada is flagging itself by the recent moves which does not suit Canadians.