World Bulletin/News Desk
Iran accused Canada on Saturday of "hostile behaviour" under Israeli and British influence after Ottawa cut diplomatic relations, and it raised the prospect of swift retaliation.
Canada said on Friday that it was closing its embassy in Tehran and gave Iranian diplomats five days to leave the country.
Ottawa cited Iran's nuclear work, its hostility toward Israel and alleged military aid to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is battling a popular uprising.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the Canadian move was a "continuation of anti-Iranian policies" by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government, which has long had poor relations with Tehran.
"The current government of Canada under the leadership of Mr Stephen Harper is known for extreme policies in the domain of foreign policy," Mehr news agency quoted Mehmanparast as saying.
"The hostile behaviour of the current racist government in Canada in reality follows the policies dictated by the Zionists (Israel) and the British."
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who heads Iran's influential parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, said there could be an "immediate and decisive" response to Canada's action, Fars news agency reported.
"It is essential that the foreign ministry respond to this action by Canada on the basis of national interests."
Canada's 10 diplomats in Iran have already left Tehran, the Canadian foreign ministry said on Friday.
Mehmanparast said the Canadian move was an attempt to nullify Iran's diplomatic success in hosting a summit of Non-Aligned Movement developing countries last month, which he said Canada had tried to scuttle.
He said Canada's anti-Iranian policies included a ban on money transfers for Iranian students studying in Canada and the blocking of the bank accounts of ordinary Iranians as a result of Western sanctions imposed on Iran's banking sector.
There is a large Iranian diaspora in Canada, with more than 120,000 people reporting Iranian ethnic origins.
Ottawa's bilateral relations with Tehran deteriorated markedly in 2003, when Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi died in Tehran's Evin prison while in custody.
The closure of Ottawa's Tehran mission is the most significant row between Iran and another country since the ransacking of the UK embassy, which British officials said could not have happened without some level of government consent.
The United States has not had a functioning embassy in Tehran since the 1979-81 hostage crisis, when 52 Americans were held for 444 days.
Beirut braces for a massive rally Saturday set to denounce the country’s political class and demand overdue parliamentary elections.
A homemade bomb has shaken the village of Karana, Bahrain with an official suspecting links to Iran with the materials used similar to a cache of explosives that were seized last month
Missile Attacks and bomb blast leaves 4 dead and at least 19 injured in Homs
An Egyptian court has sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to three years prison
Sources say a technical team from Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization is scheduled to arrive in Beirut soon to handle the growing rubbish crisis.
Two of the three villages have been under attack with a fragile ceasefire collapsing once again.
Groups are made up of young Palestinian men, women residing in Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to stand up against Israeli settlers who storm the mosque
Syria's Permanent Representative to UN denounces Ban Ki-moon's report as biased
If move goes ahead, it is likely to face significant opposition from embassies in Green Zone, including those of US and UK, due to security concerns
Most of the recruits are former fighters of the Popular Resistance pro-government movement
Uzbekistan already proved to be important NATO partner assisting in the war on the Taliban movement in neighboring Afghanistan
Michael Ratney will travel to Russia, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland to continue talks to end to Syrian crisis
Saudi forces seize control of two areas in Yemen’s Saada province after Houthi militants recently stormed Saudi positions in the southern Saudi province of Jizan.
Yassin blamed the Shia Houthi group for the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen
FM spokesman says Ankara committed to train-and-equip program as per deal with US in fight against ISIL
John Gatt-Rutter says EU will 'use more tools' to force Israel out of Jewish settlements expansion