Angry over the way Tehran has handled the death of a Canadian journalist last month, Ottawa has recalled its ambassador from Iran.
Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham told CBC Newsworld on Wednesday that Ambassador Philip MacKinnon has been told to leave Iran.
MacKinnon is to be back in Canada by the end of the week, Graham said, calling the move "a strong indication in diplomatic terms of the complete dissatisfaction of one government to another government."
Earlier on Wednesday, the Iranian government said Zahra Kazemi, 54, had been buried in Shiraz, Iran.
"It's unacceptable and I protest it very strongly," Prime Minister Jean Chrtien told reporters in Ottawa.
Kazemi's son, Stephan Hachemi, and the federal government have been trying to have the body sent to Canada since Iranian authorities admitted the Iran-born Canadian citizen had died in police custody.
The photojournalist, who carries both Canadian and Iranian passports, was arrested June 23 while taking photos outside a prison in Tehran. At some point she was beaten, lapsed into a coma and then died July 10.
The official Iranian news agency (IRNA) reported Sunday that Kazemi died from a fractured skull caused by "a physical attack." However, there were no other details, such as who hit her, or where and when it happened.
The story on IRNA claimed the government received a letter from Kazemi's mother asking that her daughter be buried in her home town of Shiraz "in order to prevent any tragic misuse of the incident."
Kazemi caught in middle of power struggle
Hachemi said his grandmother was forced to ask for his mother's burial in Iran.
Kazemi's mother agreed in a meeting at the Canadian Embassy that the body should be returned to Canada for burial, Graham said.
"Iranian authorities have chosen to disregard that," he said.
"This clearly is a part of the overall struggle which is going on in Iran between the religious authorities, the judiciary and the police against the elected representatives of the people, represented by the government of President (Mohammad) Khatami."
Canada will keep pressure on the Iranians to respect the wishes of the family and have Kazemi's remains returned to Canada, Graham said, and demand a full and open investigation.