Iran cannot still understand why Canada unilaterally severed diplomatic relations six years ago, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said after a former Canadian diplomat criticized Ottawa for the current diplomatic blackout.
In an interview with the Tehran Times on Sunday, Bahram Qassemi said, “This still remains an unanswered question for us”, adding that Tehran has already held several meetings with the current Canadian administration with the hope to resume relations.
Tehran considers as “a bizarre precedent” the ruling by the Canadian Parliament that forbids the government from pursuing talks with Iran, the Foreign Ministry’s website quoted his as saying.
“Iran has on many occasions decried this law, recognizing it as a flawed innovation in international law, violating governments’ immunity,” he deplored.
“Notwithstanding that, however, with the coming of the Liberal government and through bilateral consent, we pursued negotiations with the incumbent Canadian government in multiple stages in Tehran and a third country. We announced our readiness for opening the consular sections of the two countries. But it seems the Canadian government, for domestic concerns, is not fully ready and cannot take a firm step to develop relations,” Qassemi added.
The spokesman added that Tehran is ready for “any measures and negotiations” that could facilitate services to Iranian nationals in Canada.
“The Canadian government is aware of this issue,” Qassemi concluded.
Canada severed diplomatic relations with Iran in September 2012, citing, among other pretexts, what it described as “continued threats from Iran to the Zionist regime”.
The Canadian government closed its embassy in Tehran and demanded that Iranian diplomats leave Canada within five days.
The two countries maintain interest sections in the embassies of third countries.