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

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

This morning’s key headlines from

  • 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 inChina-Japan relations: spring 2005, fall 2010, and now thissummer. All of them have been related to so-called “history issues,”such as perceived shortcomings in apologies by Japan for its wartimeconduct, textbook portrayals of Japan’s wartime conduct and visits byJapanese politicians to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, whichcontains the graves of Japanese wartime generals. Additionally, thelatest two crises have been sparked by the territorial dispute overthe Senkaku/Diaoyu island chain. In the two previous crises, bothgovernments participated in overt escalation of tension, butultimately both had to back off after the tension had escalated beyondexpectations. This time, both governments try to quell tensions fromthe beginning, but to no avail. Activists from both countries visitedthe islands against the wishes of the governments, and were celebratedin the press and blogs back home as “heroes.” Polls show a distincttrend line, that more people each year in each country are withoutnationalism on both sides, as both countries go deeper into agenerational 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 alldiplomatic ties with Iran. The statement by Foreign Minister JohnBaird 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 havebeen 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 inTehran was being closed primarily over concerns for the safety ofCanadian diplomats. “Our diplomats serve Canada as civilians and theirsafety is my number one priority. They don’t sign up to be put inharm’s way.” He did not specify what threats Canada’s diplomats werefacing. The danger may have been related to the 1979 hostage crisisinvolving 50 American diplomats in the U.S. embassy in Tehran who wereheld hostage for 444 days. At that time, Canada helped severalAmerican diplomats escape Iran by allowing them to pretend to beCanadians. More recently, protesters stormed the British Embassy inNovember after the United Kingdom tightened sanctions against thecountry, including targeting its central bank. The British Embassy inIran remains closed and the U.S. hasn’t had a diplomatic mission theresince 1979.

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Headline image: Xinhua


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