The former Government of Canada, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, ceased all diplomatic relations with Iran, closed its embassy in Tehran, and expelled all Iranian diplomats from Ottawa in 2012;
Consular services provided through the Iranian embassy – including power of attorney, passport renewal, and the acquiring of birth and death certificates – have not been available in Ottawa since 2012 for thousands of Iranian Canadians requiring such services;
Lack of access to a Canadian embassy in Tehran disrupted the visa processes of many Iran-based relatives of Iranian Canadians who must travel to third countries such as Turkey to obtain their visa in order to visit their family here in Canada;
The lack of a diplomatic presence in Iran has left Canadian citizens traveling to Iran vulnerable and without access to consular services in times of need;
Canada’s European allies including the U.K. have re-engaged with Iran following the international agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action;
The continuation of the status quo vis-a-vis Canada-Iran relations goes against Canada’s legacy of advancing peace through diplomacy and constructive engagement;
The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs have announced on several occasions that the current Government of Canada is committed to re-establishing diplomatic relations with Iran.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to re-establish diplomatic relations with Iran, including re-opening embassies in both countries, as a matter of utmost importance.
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