Canada has suspended diplomatic relations with Iran
and is expelling Iranian diplomats from Canada, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced Friday.
According to a CBC report, Ottawa
closed its embassy in Iran and has given all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada five days to leave the country.
has closed its embassy in Iran, effective immediately, and declared personae non gratae
all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada," Baird said in a statement.
"Canada’s position on the regime in Iran is well known. Canada views the Government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today."
Baird's statement cited Iran's failure to comply with UN resolutions on its nuclear program
and its threats against Israel as the reason for the move, as well as Tehran's support of Syrian President Bashar Assad's
brutal crackdown in the pro-democratic movement in his country.
According to CBC, the statement also makes reference to Iran's "blatant disregard of the Vienna Convention that guarantees the protection of diplomatic personnel."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
welcomed the decision: "I wish to congratulate the Canadian prime minister for taking such a bold step and sending a clear message to Iran and to the world," a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office's said.
"This step should serve as an example of international responsibility and morality to the international community. It is important that the rest of the global community joins this kind of pressure, but setting clear red lines for Iran," Netanyahu's statement said
Britain was the last nation to expel
all Iranian diplomats stationed on its soil.
The move, ordered in late November, followed the storming
of the British Embassy in Tehran.
Attila Somfalvi and Reuters contributed to this report
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