Baird hammers Iran for Canadian travel warning

Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird speaks during a news conference with Britain's Foreign...

Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird speaks during a news conference with Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague on Parliament Hill in Ottawa September 24, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Kristy Kirkup, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:25 PM ET

OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has slammed Iran for issuing a travel advisory against Canada on Wednesday.

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous and I think 99% of Canadians would share that view,” Baird told reporters outside the House of Commons.

Iran’s foreign ministry issued a travel advisory for all its citizens Wednesday — the same day its president delivered a speech to the UN General Assembly.

The Canadian delegation boycotted the speech.

"Given the fact that Iran has no longer an embassy in Canada and some anti-Iranian groups in the country have a good opportunity to take revenge on the Iranian nationals, the nationals should be vigilant about the issue," the Tehran Times reported.

Baird said Canada has taken “probably the toughest stand in the world against Iran” through diplomatic sanctions and by cutting diplomatic ties.

The Canadian government announced it would sever relations earlier this month, sparking speculation a decision was made in advance of an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear sites.

Baird is set to deliver a speech to the UN General Assembly on Monday and said he plans to highlight a number of global issues in his address.

“We’ll be talking about our views on tackling the great challenges today — Syria, Iran and the importance that Canada places on human rights and freedom,” Baird said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in New York City on Thursday to receive a statesman award, but he will not be speaking to the assembly of more than 100 leaders.

Kristy.Kirkup@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @kkirkup


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