Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird issued a statement today announcing the end of formal diplomatic relations between Canada and Iran.”Canada has closed its embassy in Iran, effective immediately, and declared personae non gratae all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada,” the statement reads. “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.”
Canada hadn’t had a full ambassador in Iran since 2007, after an Iranian-Canadian photographer was tortured and killed in 2003.
The official statement lists a number of reasons for the decision, including support for Assad in Syria, threats against Israel, and the nuclear program. The thing is, these aren’t new factors, and almost everyone appears to have been caught by surprise by the news. Now a lot of people are wondering if there’s some kind of deeper, perhaps more specific reason for the move.
Baird just spoke to reporters at the APEC forum in Vladivostok (the location itself implies the decision’s timing wasn’t planned). Crucially, he denied Canada has any information about a strike on Iran, and has said that while there have been threats against Canadian officials, it was only one reason out of many. But don’t be surprised if more news comes out about this soon.
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