Canada rejected two candidates Iran proposed as ambassadors because they were radicals with possible links to the late-1970s US Embassy hostage-taking, two Canadian Foreign Affairs officials briefed on the matter said Tuesday.
The officials spoke to The Associated Press a day after Iran ordered Canada's ambassador, John Mundy, to leave the country after a long attempt to broker an agreement on an exchange of ambassadors.
Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier said late Monday that the expulsion was a result of Canada's inability to accept the candidates Tehran has submitted. The move was "an unfortunate and unjustified consequence of this situation," he said in a statement.
Bernier did not explain why the Iranian candidates were rejected, but the Foreign Affairs officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record, said intelligence reports found that the previous two candidates proposed by Iran might have been involved in or were affiliated with the storming of the US Embassy in Teheran in 1979, when 52 Americans were held hostage.