Iran responded to Ottawa’s cutting of Diplomatic ties by threatening “swift retaliation.” On Friday, Canada closed its embassy in Tehran and gave Iranian diplomats five days to leave Canada.
Iran also accused Canada of “hostile behavior” and caving to Israeli and British influence after Ottawa branded the Islamic Republic as the "most significant threat to global peace and security."
Ottawa and most Western states see Iran’s Russian-backed nuclear program, which it says is for “peaceful purposes,” as a nearly completed effort to develop atomic bombs. Iran has threatened Israel for decades and allegedly helps to arm Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the current revolution.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Canada’s rebuke is a "continuation of anti-Iranian policies" by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government.
"The current government of Canada under the leadership of Mr. Stephen Harper is known for extreme policies in the domain of foreign policy," 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 the British," he said.
Mehmanparast said 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.
There are estimated to be about 120,000 people of Iranian heritage currently living in Canada.
The United States closed its embassy in Tehran after Iranians imprisoned 52 embassy employees for 444 days during the 1979-81 hostage crisis.