World View: Canada Suggests Diplomats Weren't Safe in Iran

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
  • Japan-China island dispute being driven by popular nationalism on both sides
  • Canada severs all diplomatic relations with Iran
  • Canada suggests that its diplomats in Iran were in danger

Japan-China island dispute being driven by popular nationalism on both sides

In the past seven years, there have been three major crisis points in China-Japan relations: spring 2005, fall 2010, and now this summer. All of them have been related to so-called "history issues," such as perceived shortcomings in apologies by Japan for its wartime conduct, textbook portrayals of Japan’s wartime conduct and visits by Japanese politicians to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which contains the graves of Japanese wartime generals. Additionally, the latest two crises have been sparked by the territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu island chain. In the two previous crises, both governments participated in overt escalation of tension, but ultimately both had to back off after the tension had escalated beyond expectations. This time, both governments try to quell tensions from the beginning, but to no avail. Activists from both countries visited the islands against the wishes of the governments, and were celebrated in the press and blogs back home as "heroes." Polls show a distinct trend line, that more people each year in each country are without "positive feelings" towards the other country. This increase in nationalism on both sides, as both countries go deeper into a generational Crisis era, is an early sign that war is approaching. Jamestown

Canada severs all diplomatic relations with Iran

In a move that surprised a lot of people, Canada on Friday severed all diplomatic ties with Iran. The statement by Foreign Minister John Baird lists a number of reasons: 

  • Canada views the Government of Iran as 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
  • 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.
  • The Iranian regime has shown blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantee of protection for diplomatic personnel.

Canada's diplomats have already left Tehran, and Iran's diplomats have been given five days to leave Canada. National Post (Ontario)

Canada suggests that its diplomats in Iran were in danger

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said that the embassy in Tehran was being closed primarily over concerns for the safety of Canadian diplomats. "Our diplomats serve Canada as civilians and their safety is my number one priority. They don’t sign up to be put in harm’s way." He did not specify what threats Canada's diplomats were facing. The danger may have been related to the 1979 hostage crisis involving 50 American diplomats in the U.S. embassy in Tehran who were held hostage for 444 days. At that time, Canada helped several American diplomats escape Iran by allowing them to pretend to be Canadians. More recently, protesters stormed the British Embassy in November after the United Kingdom tightened sanctions against the country, including targeting its central bank. The British Embassy in Iran remains closed and the U.S. hasn’t had a diplomatic mission there since 1979. Canada.com

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Headline image: Xinhua


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