On Saturday, the head of Iran's parliamentary committee on national security said there could be an "immediate and decisive" response to the move by Canada, according to the Fars news agency and reported by Reuters. "It is essential that the foreign ministry respond to this action by Canada on the basis of national interests," Alaeddin Boroujerdi was quoted as saying. ***CBC.ca***Follow @NACBU_bloggers
Canada has not had a full ambassador in Iran since 2007, leaving only a few staff members to run the mission. Relations between the two, already ice cold, started to deteriorate after Iranian-Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi was tortured and killed in Iran in 2003. Canada's anti-Iranian policies included a ban on money transfers for Iranian students studying in Canada and the blocking of the bank accounts of ordinary Iranians as a result of Western sanctions imposed on Iran's banking sector.
Ottawa cited Iran's disputed nuclear work, which Western states see as a disguised effort to develop atomic bombs, its hostility toward Israel and alleged military aid to Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is battling a popular uprising.
Benjamin Netanyahu stated:
"I congratulate Canada's PM [Stephen] Harper for showing leadership and making a bold move that sends a clear message to Iran and the world,"
"The determination shown by Canada is of great importance in order for the Iranians to understand that they cannot go on with their race toward nuclear arms. This practical step must set an example of international morality and responsibility to the international community"
Canada's closing it's Tehran mission is the most significant row between Iran and another country since the trashing of the UK embassy, which British officials said could not have happened without some level of government help.
The United States has not had a functioning embassy in Tehran since the 1979-81 hostage crisis, when 52 Americans were held for 444 days.