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.
Last week, Shaimaa's 23-year-old mother arrived dead to central Gaza Strip's Deir al-Balah hospital when doctors found out that her unborn girl had still been alive inside her womb.
When the war turn into barbarism. When hospitals, disability centres , schools are not safe it is not a humanitarian crisis.
Violence in China’s far-western Xinjiang province continues as its Muslim Uighur population face religious and cultural restrictions.
Separately, U.S. lawmakers were working in Congress to provide millions of dollars in additional funding for Israel's "Iron Dome" missile shield.
The Ukranian parliament has rejected the resignation of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Twenty eight migrants, mostly Bangladeshi, were wounded when foremen at a strawberry farm opened fire on about 200 immigrant workers who were protesting for back pay in the southwestern town of Manolada in April last year.
Corey Robin, a Jewish professor of political science at Brooklyn College and a longtime critic of Israel, was also arrested at the protest.
The government increased fuel prices after spending about $3 billion on energy subsidies last year, nearly a third of state revenue.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine intend to take part in talks with Moscow, Kiev and the OSCE security and rights organisation in Belarus.
“We brought dolls to refer to the children of Gaza,” Neta Golan, a spokesperson for the group, told Anadolu Agency outside the court.
France, the Philippines and the U.S. also decided to pull out staff this week.
The United Nations relief agency’s Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl condemned the killing children in their sleep.
In the absence of a deal, Israel has ordered its ground forces to focus on locating and destroying a warren of tunnels.
To get aid into Gaza, Iran has to fly it to Egypt and then take it across the Rafah border crossing. The only other option would be to go through Israel, unthinkable for Iran.
A joint rescue team is searching for those missing after a fishing vessel capsized with 48 on board in North Sumatra.
It is likely that the losses sustained by Morganti Development LLC, which owns a stake in the Gaza power plant, will be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, who ironically also help fund the Israeli army.