TEHRAN – An Iranian Foreign Ministry official has said that one of the reasons that Canada closed its embassy in Tehran is that this country is facing economic problems.
“One of the reasons for their move is definitely the economic crisis,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said during an interview at the office of the Mehr News Agency on Monday.
Mehmanparast stated that Canadian officials have said that they have saved about 150 million dollars through closing embassies in a number of countries.
However, Mehmanparast said, the fact that the “extremist” government of Stephen Harper is trying to “politicize” the issue due to its alliance with Israel, but raising “irrelevant issues as a reason for its imprudent move” will not deceive the people.
On September 7, Canada pulled all its diplomats out of Iran and then cut off ties. It also expelled Iranian diplomats from Ottawa. Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird cited Iran’s nuclear program, its hostility toward Israel, and Iran’s alleged military assistance to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as the reasons for the decision to close the embassy.
Mehmanparast added that the severance of diplomatic relations will naturally create problems for the Iranians living in Canada, who need access to consular services, and this consequently will create a sense of dissatisfaction among these people’s families in Iran, and the Ottawa government is cunningly trying to portray Iranian officials as responsible for the situation.
However, he said, Tehran will do its utmost to provide consular services to Iranians living in Canada through various channels.
He also said that the claim by the Ottawa government that foreign diplomats in Iran are not safe originates from “uncontrollable anger” of Canadian officials due to the successful holding of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran in late August.
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