American Jewish leaders on Friday urged other countries to follow Canada’s example and sever diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Earlier on Friday Ottawa announced that it would be recalling its diplomats from Tehran and that Iranian envoys in Canada were personae non gratae. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird cited Iran’s “increasing military assistance to the Assad regime,” noncompliance with UN resolutions against its nuclear program, and routine threats against Israel’s existence and “racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide” as Ottawa’s rationale for severing ties with Tehran.

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations chairman Richard Stone and executive vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein  praised Canada’s decision to terminate relations with Iran.

“We welcome the announcement by the government of Canada that it is severing ties with Iran, ordering Iranian diplomats out of the country, and closing its embassy in Iran,” they wrote in a statement.

“It is an important moral declaration and a rejection of the extremist threats of the Iranian regime against the US, Israel, and the West, its gross violation of human rights internationally and internally, its support for global terrorism, and its many violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions related to its nuclear program.”

“We hope that other countries will follow Canada’s example.  We thank Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Minister John Baird for once again being at the forefront of the cause of justice and standing up for the principles and values that it espouses,” Stone and Hoenlein said.

Anti Defamation League National Director Abraham H. Foxman said, “Canada’s principled stand against the belligerent Iranian regime has set a new example of leadership, integrity and principle for the international community to emulate.”

“Once again, Canada has taken the lead in providing an example for other countries, reinforcing a clear message to the Iranian regime that their nuclear activity and violent anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric will no longer be tolerated by the community of nations,” Foxman added.

He called on other countries to follow suit, and continue ratcheting up diplomatic and other pressures against the Iranian regime.

The United States severed diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in April 1980 after Iranian revolutionaries stormed the US embassy in Tehran and took 52 diplomats hostage the November before. Washington imposed a trade embargo on Iran in 1995.