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Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announces the suspension of Canada diplomatic relations with Iran, in Vladivostok, Russia, Sept. 7. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says Canada started re-evaluating its presence in Iran several months ago after seeing that country's government was not stepping in to help protect foreign missions as other countries in the region had.

Baird told reporters in Montreal Friday that the federal government decided to reduce staff to a skeleton crew after an incursion against the British embassy in November.

He said Iran had a track record of non-assistance to foreign embassies going back to the attack on the U.S. embassy in 1980 and Canada wanted its staff kept safe.

Another factor was Canada's recognition of Iran as a sponsor of terrorism.

Baird said the layout of the Tehran facility was another consideration in the decision to close it.

He says the embassy sits close to the street and is not secure to the extent the government would like in that case.

Baird also said the decision to reopen the embassy in Cairo, which was closed Thursday, will be evaluated on a day-by-day basis.