Canada Closes Iranian Embassy Saying Iran Is Biggest Threat To Global Security

Canada is closing its embassy in Iran and ordered all Iranian diplomats in Canada out within five days saying Iran is the biggest threat to global security and said "Diplomatic relations between Canada and Iran have been suspended," Foreign Minister John Baird said.

In making the decisions, Baird said Iran's support of Syrian president Assad, its nuclear program and hostility towards Israel was the main reasons for taking these steps.

"Under the circumstances, Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Iran," he said, declaring that Iran had shown "blatant disregard" for the Vienna Convention's guarantee of protection for diplomats.

Ottawa has long had poor relations with Iran, in part because of its enmity toward close Canadian ally Israel.

The United States has not had a functioning embassy in Tehran since the 1979-81 hostage crisis, when 52 Americans were held for 444 days. Britain's embassy in Tehran has been closed since it was stormed by protesters last November.

During the hostage crisis, the Canadian embassy in Tehran sheltered six U.S. diplomats who had avoided capture, and then helped them leave Iran with Canadian passports in January 1980. The Canadian embassy then closed, reopening only in 1988.

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