Saturday, September 08, 2012

Canada Breaks Off Diplomatic Relations with Iran

Canada has closed its embassy in Iran and is in the process of expelling all Iranian diplomats from Canada. When I heard this from Dignified Rant, I went off and dove into every single Canadian news source I could find (good thing I was already there obsessing about TIFF).  One does indeed wonder, why now?  What does Ottawa know that's precipitated this?  It says that there is no one single reason but the cumulative effect of dealing with Iran.  When the polite Canadians do something like this, one should pay attention.  FYI, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has released a statement in which he says, among other things, 
"Iran is among the world's worst violators of human rights. It shelters and materially supports terrorist groups. ... 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."
He's not wrong, eh? Canada is as of September 7 formally listing Iran and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act.  More here (in English and French) from Canadian PM Stephen Harper. Iran's reaction is unsurprising, right down to accusing Canada of being racist and also being Israel's puppet.  Whatever, as Baird specifically called out Iran for its anti-Semitism and incitement to genocide.  (The Israelis have expressed thanks to Canada for the decision, something done also by various human rights groups. Here's a quote from Netanyahu.)

On a more personal note: the response from an astonished Alessandra was "OMG!!!  Go Canada!"  Second that.

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