* Canada acting under Israeli, British influence -Tehran
* Canada shuts Tehran embassy, tells all Iranian diplomats
DUBAI, Sept 8 Iran accused Canada on Saturday of
"hostile behaviour" under Israeli and British influence after
Ottawa cut diplomatic relations, and it raised the prospect of
Canada said on Friday that it was closing its embassy in
Tehran and gave Iranian diplomats five days to leave the
country, branding the Islamic Republic as the "most significant
threat to global peace and security".
Ottawa cited Iran's disputed nuclear work, which Western
states see as a disguised effort to develop atomic bombs, 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."
The Jewish state is Iran's arch-enemy, while Britain
expelled Iranian diplomats late last year after radical Iranian
protesters sacked its embassy in Tehran.
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."
CANADIAN DIPLOMATS ALREADY GONE
Canada's 10 diplomats in Iran have already left Tehran, the
Canadian foreign ministry said on Friday.
Western states led by the United States believe Iran is
covertly trying to develop nuclear weapons capability, though
Iran states its uranium enrichment work is wholly peaceful,
aimed at generating electricity and medical isotopes.
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.