Among journalists, there’s an old joke:
What’s the world’s most boring headline?
“Worthwhile Canadian Initiative.”
Except, never mind the old jokes, Canada’s foreign policy initiatives are getting awfully interesting these days — and in a good way. Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird just announced that Canada is closing its embassy in Tehran and kicking Iran’s diplomats out of Canada. Why? Because, explained Baird, “Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.”
Among Canada’s reasons:
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 Canadian government says that all Canadian diplomatic staff have already left Iran, and all Iranian diplomats in Ottawa have been told to clear out within five days.
What a bracing contrast to the recent gathering in Tehran of the 120-member erstwhile Non-Aligned Movement, headlined by the attendance of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and more than two dozen heads of state.