Iran's top diplomat in Canada defends embassy's work
12-Sep-2012 (one comment)

The ousted chargé d'affaires for Iran's shuttered embassy in Ottawa told CBC's Peter Mansbridge his staff "have done nothing wrong," laughing off suggestions that diplomats with the Islamic republic were ordered to leave Canada because of alleged sleeper agents and claims of harassment against Iranian-Canadians.

In an exclusive interview, Kambiz Sheikh-Hassani blamed "outside governments and entities" for influencing a recent and sudden decision by Ottawa to force the closure of the embassy and send the Iranians back home.

Sheikh-Hassani listed Iran's perceived negative record on "human rights, the nuclear issue and terrorism" among key reasons that Canada wants to expel the Iranians.

On Monday, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney told CBC's Evan Solomon on Power & Politics that a culture of harassment and intimidation by Iranian diplomats in Canada was another reason for cutting ties.

But Sheikh-Hassani, who has been in Canada for 21 months, insisted embassy workers were committed to serving the country's large Iranian population.

"This is totally baseless. This office has been a place that many, many Iranians happily received quality consular services," he said.

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A familiar story

by John on

The Iranian embassy spokesman was charming, pleasant, well-spoken, informed and persuasive, but that simpering smile didn't hide his dupliciity.