Italy will represent Canada's interests in Tehran after embassy closure
Italy Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant Agata speaks in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 9, 2012. Terzi says Italy will look after Canadian interests in Iran after Canada shut down its embassy there earlier this month. (Polfoto / Ditte Valente)
Published Monday, September 17, 2012 11:45AM EDT
ROME -- Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi says Italy will look after Canadian interests in Iran after Canada shut down its embassy there earlier this month.
Terzi said Monday that Canada, Italy's "important friend and ally," had requested Rome assume protection of Canadian interests there following the Sept. 7 closure of the embassy in Tehran. Canada also severed diplomatic relations with Iran and ordered Iranian diplomats to leave, branding the Islamic republic as the most significant threat to world peace.
The surprise move reinforced Canada's close ties with Israel, Tehran's arch enemy.
Iran called Canada's embassy closure "hasty and unwise" and said it would react in the near future.
Tehran denies suspicions it is intent on developing nuclear weapons, with Israel especially worried.
Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran.