MOSCOW: Canada has frozen diplomatic relations with Iran and will expel Iranian diplomats from the country, Canadian Foreign Minister Mr John Baird has said.
Ottawa has formally listed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorist Act, he said.
“Iran is among the world’s worst violators of human rights. It shelters and materially supports terrorist groups,” Mr Baird said.
All Iranian diplomats in Canada have been declared ‘persona non grata’ and must leave within five days. All Canadian diplomats have already left Iran.
“Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today,” Mr Baird said.
It also cited Iran’s support for the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria and failure to honour UN resolutions on its nuclear programme.
The US, Israel and a number of Western European countries suspect Iran of running a nuclear weapons programme under the guise of a civil nuclear project. Iran denies this and maintains its nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful.