Friday, September 7, 2012

Canada Severes Diplomatic Ties With Iran

The Iran File

Canada has cut its diplomatic ties with Iran, shutting its embassy in Tehran and has given five days for all Iranian diplomats to leave Canada, John Baird, Canada's foreign affairs minister announced today. As well, Iran has been placed on the list of states that sponsor terrorism. Nations on the list lose their immunity, allowing victims of terrorist acts to go after them in court for legal damages. Mr. Baird made the announcement in Vladivostok, Russia, where he is attending an international summit.  As Sun News reports,
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of the annual summit of Pacific nation leaders here, said the skeleton Canadian embassy staff in Tehran would be withdrawn immediately for their own safety.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.
In doing so, Canada is taking an important and necessary diplomatic step; it sends a strong signal that Canada's values of western liberal democracy and those enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights are contrary to those of the Islamic Republic. In taking such a step, Canada joins the United States, who has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since 1980, it in response to the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy and 52 Americans by Iranian students, part of the wider Iranian Islamic Revolution.

You can read the text of Mr. Baird's statement at [National Post] and the rest of the article at [Sun News]