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Iran slams Canada’s decision to sever diplomatic ties as ‘hasty and extreme’

Foreign Ministry says ‘racist’ decision is ‘in line with the policies that are dictated by the Zionist and British governments’

Embassy staff back a van into the underground garage at the Iranian embassy in Ottawa, Friday Sept.7, 2012 (photo credit: AP/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)
Embassy staff back a van into the underground garage at the Iranian embassy in Ottawa, Friday Sept.7, 2012 (photo credit: AP/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Friday slammed Canada’s announcement that it was severing diplomatic ties with Tehran over its failure to comply with UN resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program and for being a state sponsor of terrorism.

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast, called Canada’s decision to shut down its embassy in Tehran and order Iranian diplomats to leave the country “hasty and extreme” and said that Iran would soon respond, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported.

“The hostile actions of the current racist Canadian government are in fact in line with the policies that are dictated by the Zionist and the British government,” IRNA quoted Mehmanparast as saying.

A note in Persian posted on the door of Iran’s embassy in Ottawa read: “Because of the hostile decision by the government of Canada, the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Ottawa is closed and has no choice but to stop providing any consular services for its dear citizens.”

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Friday afternoon that the Canadian embassy in Tehran would close immediately and Iranian diplomats in Canada were given five days to leave.

Baird, who serves in a government that is a staunch ally of Israel, said Iran is the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement praising Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his “bold leadership,” which he said sends a “strong message to Iran and the entire world.”

“The determination shown by Canada is very important in order for the Iranians to understand that they cannot continue with their race for nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “This practical step must serve as an example of morality and responsibility to the international community,” he said.

Israel, the U.S. and others worry Iran could use its enrichment labs to produce warhead-grade material. Iran insists it seeks to make nuclear fuel for energy and medical reactors only.

“We share Canada’s concerns regarding Iran’s behavior,” U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said. He cited Iran’s “military assistance to the Assad regime, failure to comply with U.N. resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program and continued violations of human rights.”

“We want all countries to join us in isolating Iran,” Ventrell added.

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