Israeli leaders welcomed Canada’s decision on Friday to close its embassy in
Tehran and to cut its diplomatic ties with Iran.
President Shimon Peres
and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called on other nations to follow Ottawa’s
“Canada has proven once again that morals come before
pragmatism, Canada has demonstrated that policy must reflect principles and
values,” Peres said in a statement he issued on Saturday night.
my colleague Governor- General David Johnston, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and
the whole nation of Canada for taking a stance based on the highest morals and
hope that other nations will see Canada as a moral role model,” Peres
“The diplomatic isolation of Iran is an important step for the
security and stability of the entire world.”
Ottawa gave Iranian
diplomats in Canada five days to leave the country, branding the Islamic
Republic the “most significant threat to global peace and security.”
Canadian diplomats in Iran had already left Tehran, the Canadian Foreign
Ministry said on Friday.
The closure of Ottawa’s Tehran mission
represents the most significant incident between Iran and another country since
the ransacking of the British Embassy in November 2011, which British officials
said could not have happened without some level of government
The United States has not had a functioning embassy in Tehran
since the 1979-81 hostage crisis, when Iranians held 52 Americans for 444
Netanyahu said that Harper’s daring decision sent a clear message
to Iran and the entire world.
“One week after the display of
anti-Semitism and hatred in Tehran [at the Non- Aligned Movement’s conference],
the government of Canada is taking a moral step of the highest order,” Netanyahu
said. “Canada’s determination is very important in order for the Iranians to
understand that they cannot continue their race after nuclear weapons. This
practical measure needs to serve as an example of international responsibility
for the global community.
“It is important that the international
community join in this pressure by setting Iran clear red lines,” he
Iran on Saturday accused Canada of “hostile behavior” under Israeli
and British influence, and raised the prospect of swift
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said
the Canadian move was a “continuation of anti-Iranian policies” by Harper’s
Conservative government, which has long had poor relations with
“The current government of Canada under the leadership of Mr. Stephen Harper is known for extreme
policies in the domain of foreign policy,” the Mehr news agency quoted
Mehmanparast as saying. “The hostile behavior of the current racist government
in Canada in reality follows the policies dictated by the Zionists [Israel] and
Mehmanparast said Ottawa’s actions were an attempt to
nullify Iran’s diplomatic success in hosting the summit of Non- Aligned Movement
developing countries last month, which he said Canada had tried to
He said Canada’s anti-Iranian policies included a ban on money
transfers for Iranian students studying in Canada and the blocking of bank
accounts of ordinary Iranians as a result of Western sanctions imposed on Iran’s
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who heads Iran’s influential
parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, said there
could be an “immediate and decisive” response to Canada’s action, the Fars news
“It is essential that the Foreign Ministry respond to
this action by Canada on the basis of national interests.”
But Peres said
Ottawa’s decision came after Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, support for
global terrorism and threats to destroy Israel.
“It is inconceivable that
a UN member state will threaten to destroy another member state, it completely
contradicts the UN Charter. Other member states must stand against it,”
“Iran is a source of global terror, a blatant violator of human
rights, and Iran aims to dominate the entire Middle East,” Peres
“The combination of hegemonic ambition, political madness and a
nuclear weapon is an unacceptable and unbearable combination which endangers the
entire world and against which the entire world must act with all its power,” he
Former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler said his country
decision to cut ties with Iran was also a reaction to Iran’s complicity with
“Syria’s atrocities,” its assaults on diplomats from Central Asia to Central
America and the intimidation of Canadian Iranians in Canada.”
There is a
large Iranian diaspora in Canada, with more than 120,000 people reporting
Iranian ethnic origins.
Cotler called for additional steps to be taken
against Iran including listing its Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist
entity under Canadian law.
There was a need for enhanced sanctions for
Tehran’s continued pursuit of nuclear weapons in defiance of international law,
Iran should also be held accountable under international law for
its state-sanctioned incitement to genocide, Cotler said.
European Union heavyweights Britain, France and Germany called on their EU
partners to impose new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said diplomacy was at a
standstill. “We will discuss in the next days the details of strengthening
sanctions,” he told reporters.
Fabius suggested new measures could target
the finance, trade and oil sectors, but provided no other details.
latest round of EU sanctions on Iran, implemented in July, already ban oil
imports from the Islamic Republic and isolate its banking sector, so it is
unclear what additional measures the bloc could impose that would have a harder
The ministers stopped short of listing possible
EU foreign ministers were meeting in Cyprus to discuss issues
including the bloc’s response to the Iranian atomic program and the crisis in
Syria. But they were not scheduled to take any decisions.
States is applying increasing diplomatic pressure around the world to isolate
the Iranian economy.
The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who
leads the international talks with Iran, is due to speak with Tehran’s chief
nuclear negotiator soon to decide whether any further steps can be
Six countries that have engaged in the talks with Iran – the US,
France, Russia, China, Britain and Germany – will meet on the sidelines of the
UN General Assembly in New York this month to discuss the issue, diplomats
Talks hit an impasse in June in Moscow after Iran refused to stop
enriching uranium to 20-percent fissile purity unless international sanctions
were eased, a step the six nations rejected.
Talks about new sanctions in
Europe could be complicated, despite strong support by the three
Some smaller EU states are concerned about the economic
impact of sanctions on the European economy, struggling with a debt crisis.