Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has ordered ties with Iran to be severed over its sponsorship of terrorism and amid fears about the safety of Canadian diplomats in the country.

Baird says the Canadian embassy in Tehran will close immediately and Iranian diplomats in Canada have been given five days to leave.

He says he’s worried about the safety of diplomats in Tehran following recent attacks on the British embassy there.

“The Iranian regime has shown blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantee of protection for diplomatic personnel,” he said in a statement.

“Under the circumstances, Canada can no longer maintain a diplomatic presence in Iran. Our diplomats serve Canada as civilians, and their safety is our No. 1 priority.”
He also condemned the regime as a sponsor of terrorism.

“Canada views the government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today,” he said.

He recited a litany of complaints about Iran, including its support for the Assad regime in Syria, its refusal to comply with UN resolutions about its nuclear program, its threats to Israel and its abysmal human rights record.

Foreign Affairs is also warning ordinary Canadians to avoid any travel to Iran.