TORONTO (AP) - Canada's Conservative government said today it is shutting its embassy in Tehran and severing diplomatic relations with Iran, which Canada says is providing military assistance to Syria.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the Canadian embassy in Tehran will close immediately and Iranian diplomats in Canada have been given five days to leave.
Baird, who serves in a government that is a staunch ally of Israel, said Iran is the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.
"The Iranian regime is providing increasing military assistance to the Assad regime; it refuses to comply with UN resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program; it routinely threatens the existence of Israel and engages in racist anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide," Baird said in a statement.
"It is among the world's worst violators of human rights; and it shelters and materially supports terrorist groups, requiring the Government of Canada to formally list Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act."
Baird also said he's worried about the safety of diplomats in Tehran following recent attacks on the British embassy there.
He also Canadians to avoid traveling to Iran.