Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed having a conversation over phone with his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland on Tuesday (May 8, 2017) adding that a Canadian diplomatic delegation arrived this week in Tehran “to have discussions on holding presidential elections for Iranians in Canada.”
According to IRNA, Iran’s official news agency, Zarif said that “the necessary measures have not yet been adopted in Canada to let Iranians living in that country take part in the upcoming presidential elections.”
In 2012, Canada suspended diplomatic relations with Iran, expelled all Iranian diplomats and formally listed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. The decision to suspend diplomatic relations was based on Iran’s support for Assad’s regime, its failure to comply with UN resolutions on its nuclear program and its threats against Israel.
In February 2016, Canada lifted virtually all sanctions against Iran and on June 10, 2016, Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion confirmed that Canada started talks “at the official level” with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Based on his conversation with Freeland, Zarif noted that according to to the Canadian laws, casting votes should be held at diplomatic centers. In light of the fact that there are no diplomatic missions operating in Canada, Zarif advised Iranian-Canadians to vote at the polling stations in American cities bordering the Canadian borders.
The Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) supports the rapprochement process calling for re-establishing diplomatic and economic ties between Ottawa and Tehran. On May 9, 2017, ICC issued the following statement:
The ICC welcomes the news that Canadian officials are visiting Iran and opening lines of communication and diplomacy between the two countries. In particular, we welcome the conversation between the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs Freeland and Foreign Minister of Iran Zarif and hope that such conversations continue in the hopes of re-establishing diplomatic and economic ties that would benefit Canadian businesses, Iranian-Canadians, and Canada’s international standing.