OCTOBER SURPRISE? Canada closes embassy in Iran, brings diplomats home…

Friday, September 7, 2012
By Paul Martin

BY MIKE BLANCHFIELD
Montrealgazette.com
SEPTEMBER 7, 2012

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has severed Canadian ties with Iran over its sponsorship of terrorism and amid fears about the safety of diplomats in the country.

Baird says the Canadian embassy in Tehran will close immediately and Iranian diplomats in Canada have been given five days to leave.

The skeleton staff that was operating Canada’s Tehran mission has already fled the country.

Baird says he’s worried about the safety of diplomats in Tehran following recent attacks on the British embassy there.

“The Iranian regime has shown blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantee of protection for diplomatic personnel,” he said.

“Under the circumstances, Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Iran. Our diplomats serve Canada as civilians and their safety is our No. 1 priority.”

He also condemned the regime as a sponsor of terrorism.

“Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today,” he said.

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