With Iran branding his government a hostile stooge of Israel and Britain, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Sunday that nothing Iran does in response to Canada's severing of diplomatic ties would surprise him.
"We will continue both from Ottawa, through our partners and allies to continue to advocate on behalf of Canadians who have those kinds of difficult consular situations, legal situations in Iran," Harper said.
Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossen Derakhsan, 35, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for his writings, which inspired other Iranian reform bloggers.
Toronto's Ghassemi-Shall, 43, who emigrated to Canada after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, faces a death sentence after being charged with espionage when he returned to visit family four years ago.
Saeed Malekpour, a web programmer from Richmond Hill, Ont. is on death row after being charged with promoting pornographic websites. He says he was tortured into confessing to crimes.