Canadian ambassador still in Tehran after being ordered to leave: reports
Canada's ambassador to Iran was still in Tehran Tuesday, according to a news report, despite having been ordered on Monday to leave the country.
Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier said in a news release Monday evening that Ambassador John Mundy's expulsionis believed to have stemmed from the two countriesnot being able to come to an agreement over an exchange of ambassador candidates, he said.
At the Canadian embassy in TehranTuesday morning, the chargé d'affaires, James Carrick, who's now in charge of the mission, told the Canadian Press thatMundy is still in the country.
He would not say when Mundy is leaving, and referred all questions to the Foreign Affairs Department in Ottawa.
"Canada regrets the decision of the government of Iran to order our ambassador to leave Tehran, which is entirely unjustifiable," Bernier said in the release.
"We stand behind our ambassador, who has performed his diplomatic duties with professionalism and dedication."
Mundy arrived in Tehran last spring, but the Iranian government has never allowed him to present his credentials to officially assume the role of ambassador.
The Canadian embassy in Iran will be headed by Canada's chargé d'affaires in the meantime.Both countries will continue to maintain embassies in the respective capitals and conduct normal operations, he said.
"As always, Canada remains prepared to receive an Iranian ambassador provided a suitable candidate is presented," he said.
A spokesperson in the department said it's unlikely this latest move will have much effect on relations between the two countries, as they are already very limited.
Canada and Iran have been at odds over matters like human rights, Tehran's nuclear program and the death of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, whodied while inIranian custody.
With files from the Canadian Press