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Iran kicks out Canadian ambassador
Iran wants to send an ambassador to Canada, but Canada will not accept any person that Iran wants to send. The friction has been happening behind the scenes for months.
Yesterday Seyed Mahdi Mohebi -- the Iranian charge d'affaires -- expressed frustration that the Harper regime has ignored Iran’s overtures to Canada. Mohebi had twice asked for a resumption of high-level contacts up to the foreign minister level. (The charge d'affaires is the person who runs an embassy until a full ambassador arrives.)
Today Iran kicked out Canada’s ambassador John Mundy.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier said, “Canada remains prepared to receive an Iranian ambassador, provided Iran presents a candidate we find suitable.”
Iran-Canada relations have been frosty since the Iranians kicked out the U.S. puppet Shah in 1979. Former Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor helped spirit Americans out of the U.S. Embassy before they could be taken hostage.
Another point of contention concerns the death of Ms. Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian freelance photographer who died in custody after being arrested outside of a Tehran prison on 23 June 2003. Nineteen days later, Kazemi died in Baghiyyatollah al-Azam Military Hospital.
Iranian authorities insist that her death was accidental, and that she died of a stroke. Shahram Azam, a former military staff physician who left Iran and sought asylum in Canada in 2004, claims he examined Kazemi's body and observed evidence of rape and torture, including a skull fracture, broken nose, crushed toe, missing fingernails, broken fingers, and severe abdominal bruising.
The Canadian government, as well as Kazemi's family and supporters, consider her death to be state-sanctioned murder.
Canada insisted that her body be returned to her Canadian son, Stephan Hachemi.
The Iranian government said the burial had happened in Iran, following the wishes of Kazemi's mother.