Canada closes embassy in Iran

News Agencies – September 7, 2012


The Canadian Harper government has closed the Canadian Embassy in Iran and ordered all Iranian diplomats in Canada to leave the country. The move effectively severs ties with the Islamic Republic after years of increasingly tense relations marked by accusations, warnings and sanctions.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in Russia for an APEC summit, has repeatedly described Iran as the greatest threat to global security, a statement echoed by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird as he announced the embassy closure.

Baird revealed all Canadian diplomats had left Iran, while Iranian diplomats in Ottawa have been instructed to leave within five days. While the Harper government often co-ordinates its actions on Iran, such as the levelling of sanctions with the U.S. and other allies against Iran, Baird said Canada is the only country suspending diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic at this time, calling it a “made-in-Canada decision.”

Passengers Must show “Entire Face” under tougher Canadian Air Security Rules

The Globe and Mail – September 17, 2010
The Canadian Harper government has quietly tightened air security rules to make it absolutely clear that airlines must check a passenger’s “entire face” before they board a plane. The measure stems from an early August 2010 controversy in which a video released on YouTube showed two Muslim women, their faces covered, boarding an Air Canada flight out of Montreal.
At the time, then-Transport Minister John Baird insisted that airlines were already obligated under “identity screening regulations” to verify the identity of all passengers before they are allowed to board. The new measure, enacted by recently appointed Transport Minister Chuck Strahl, has been issued because Ottawa discovered the existing rules were not detailed enough.