OTTAWA - Canada will maintain its own foreign office and limited diplomatic ties with Iran in the wake of the storming of the British embassy in Tehran on Tuesday.
"Canada has no plans at this point to change its diplomatic representation," confirmed a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
On Wednesday, British foreign secretary William Hague announced the U.K. was closing Iran's embassy in London and had withdrawn its own diplomatic staff from Tehran.
He also linked the attack to a student Basij militia organization.
"We should be clear from the outset that this is an organization controlled by elements of the Iranian regime," he told the British Parliament.
Houchang Hassan-Yari, an international relations expert with the Royal Military College of Canada, agreed the regime was associated with the attack, which he called a "foolish" and symbolic act by the regime to intimidate the U.K. and its western partners in the wake of a fresh round of sanctions imposed this month.
"This is a very clear violation of international law," he said of the attack by hundreds of protesters, noting it will only serve to isolate Iran further from the international community.
Tuesday's events in Tehran will pave the way for further sanctions and even possible military intervention, he added.
But Hassan-Yari still feels Canada made the right choice in keeping its embassy in Tehran open.
"We don't want to isolate the Iranian people," he said, arguing if western powers pulled their diplomats out of the Islamic republic, it would make it easier for the regime to oppress its own citizens.
"If the embassies are open, if the Iranians can go abroad and foreign citizens visit Iran, this exchange and dialogue reinforces the position of the reformists and those who want change," he said. European Union foreign ministers are gathering in Brussels Thursday and are expected to discuss imposing further sanctions on Iran.
Reports also suggested that Britain would support an embargo on the import of oil from Iran in the wake of Tuesday's attack.
-With files from Reuters