In a surprise move Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced that Canada was closing its embassy in Tehran and expelling Iranian diplomats from Canada as it formally declared Iran a state sponsor of terrorism. Baird branded Iran as the "most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today."
He cited a list of long-standing beefs with the regime in Tehran, including Iranian military assistance to Syria and its refusal to comply with UN resolutions on 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," Baird said. He said the main motivation was an attack on the British embassy in Tehran nine months ago and worries that Canadian diplomats were in danger.