Canada’s Direct Diplomacy 

In September 2012, Canada closed its embassy in Iran, and declared personae non gratae all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada. Minister Baird reiterated at that time that “Canada views the Government of Iran as the most significant threat to global peace and security in the world today.”

The Iranian regime’s provision of increasing military assistance to the Assad regime; its refusal to comply with UN resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program; its routine threats to the existence of Israel and engagement in racist anti-Semitic rhetoric and incitement to genocide; and critically, its status as one of the world’s worst violators of human rights and sheltering and material support to terrorist groups, required the Government of Canada to formally list Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act.

The suspension of these diplomatic ties however, has not shaken Canada’s resolve to engage with the people of Iran. The Government of Canada recognizes that Iranians, including its activists and human rights defenders, and those people of Iran who are seeking out a peaceful and prosperous future for their families, are bravely acting as role models for the free world. Canada recognizes their goals and aspirations, and admires their insistence. It is with this in mind that Canada is continuing to seek out opportunities for dialogue with the people of Iran.

One such opportunity is an initiative Canada has supported called the Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran, which is spearheaded by the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. This is a key component of Canada’s Direct Diplomacy in Iran.

Enabled by internet censorship circumvention technology, the Global Dialogue has successfully reached hundreds of thousands of people inside Iran through the Global Dialogue website, dedicated YouTube and Twitter channels, and an active Facebook page and engaged them in an open and transparent conversation about a variety of issues of concern to them.

Canada is proud to support the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs in their ongoing organization of the Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran, a key venue for Iranians to discuss the future of their country.

To contact Canada's Direct Diplomacy team for Iran, you may send an email to iran-canada@international.gc.ca.