Iran brands Canada as 'extremist government' after embassy closure
TEHERAN (AFP) - Iran on Monday said Canada had a "neo-conservative extremist government" as it kept up a furious response to Ottawa's decision last week to cut diplomatic ties.
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi used that description in an interview with the Iranian parliament's website (icana.ir) in which he also said the Canadian government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper was "boundlessly defending international Zionism." Canada last Friday made the surprise announcement that it had shut its Teheran embassy and was ordering the Iranian embassy in Ottawa closed by the middle of this week.
It said it took the step because it views Iran "as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today," citing Teheran's support of the Syrian regime, defiance over Iran's disputed nuclear programme, anti-Israeli rhetoric, human rights violations, and alleged state sponsorship of terrorism.
It also highlighted the insecurity of its diplomats feel in Teheran after the British embassy was overrun by protesters during a state-organised demonstration in November last year, resulting in its closure.