OTTAWA - The former head of the shuttered Iranian embassy in Canada is condemning the severing of diplomatic ties with his country as "unwise, uncivilized and hostile."
The ousted charge d'affaires, Kambiz Sheikh-Hassani, emailed a statement dated Sept. 10 to the CBC and addressed to "Iranians living in Canada."
"With no doubt, the decision of the Conservative government to close the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran here in Ottawa and the manner this has been conducted is unwise, uncivilized and hostile," Sheikh-Hassani wrote.
"We strongly condemn this action which is also inconsistent with the traditional culture and etiquette of Canadian people."
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced last Friday that Iranian diplomats were no longer welcome in Canada, and that the federal government would be closing the Canadian embassy in Tehran.
Although the catalyst for the move is unclear, cabinet ministers have cited a range of factors, including Iran's support of terrorist organizations, the dangers faced by diplomatic staff in Tehran and the intelligence activities in Canada of purported Iranian diplomats.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews ridiculed the statement issued by Sheikh-Hassani.
"Could there be anything more uncivilized than the sponsorship of terrorist organizations, which is what Iran is doing?" Toews said Tuesday on CBC's Power and Politics.
Sheikh-Hassani said the Iranian government was searching for alternatives for Iranians seeking consular services in Canada.
"We assure the Iranian community that this move by the Harper government will be judged in the course of history," he said.