Baird says Iran viewed as world’s ‘most significant threat to global peace and security’
Canada has suspended diplomatic relations with Iran and is expelling Iranian diplomats from Canada, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced in a statement today.
Speaking to reporters in Russia, where he’s attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-Operation summit, Baird said the government is formally listing Iran today as a state sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act.
That will theoretically allow Canadians affected by terrorism supported by the Iranian regime to sue.
Later in the day, Baird added Syria to the list of terror-sponsoring states.
“Canada is committed to fighting global terrorism and to holding perpetrators of terrorism — and those who provide them support — accountable for their actions,” Baird said following a news release that officially added Syria to the list.
“Building resilience against terrorism is a priority for our government, and respect for the rule of law prevails in a resilient society,” added Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.
Earlier Friday, Baird denounced Iran in the strongest possible terms.
“Iran is among the world’s worst violators of human rights. It shelters and materially supports terrorist groups,” Baird said in a news release announcing the formal terror listing, adding: “Unequivocally, we have no information about a military strike on Iran.”
Baird said Canada has closed its embassy in Iran, effective immediately, and declared personae non gratae all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada. Those diplomats must leave within five days. All Canadian diplomats have already left Iran.