18:27 GMT +3 hours22 November 2014
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Canada Cuts Ties with Iran

World
(updated 18:28 28.10.2014)
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Canada has frozen diplomatic relations with Iran and will expel Iranian diplomats from Canada, Foreign Minister John Baird announced on Friday.

Canada has frozen diplomatic relations with Iran and will expel Iranian diplomats from Canada, Foreign Minister John Baird announced on Friday.

Ottawa has formally listed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorist Act, he said.

"Iran is among the world's worst violators of human rights. It shelters and materially supports terrorist groups," Baird said.

All Iranian diplomats in Canada have been declared personae non gratae and must leave within five days. All Canadian diplomats have already left Iran.

"Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today," Baird said in a statement.

It also cited Iran's support for the Assad regime in Syria and failure to honor UN resolutions on its nuclear program.

The United States, Israel and a number of Western European countries suspect Iran of running a nuclear weapons program under the guise of a civil nuclear project. Iran denies this and maintains its nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful. Iran is the subject of a raft of sanctions by the U.S. and the European Union.