1204 GMT January 18, 2021
Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned Italy’s ambassador, whose country represents Canada’s interests in Iran, to protest Canada’s human rights violations and its hypocrisy over respecting citizenship and consular rights of Iranians residing in the North American country.
Referring to the deprivation of more than 400,000 Iranians living in Canada from receiving consular services over the past years, the Foreign Ministry called Ottawa’s inattention to the demands for establishment of a consular office “unacceptable” and contrary to the human rights claims by the country, IRNA reported.
The Foreign Ministry also protested Canada’s refusal to arrest and extradite criminals who have fled to the country, noting that Canada has turned into a safe haven for racketeers.
Mahmoudreza Khavari, a former Iranian banker, fled to Canada after a $2.6 billion financial fraud came to light in 2011. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison and the Interpol issued a warrant for him in December 2017.
So far, the Canadian government has refused to arrest and extradite him to Iran.
Marjan Sheikholeslami, accused of embezzling public funds in Iran in two separate cases, has also fled to Canada. In 2010, amid the international sanctions on Iran, she founded various companies in Iran and Turkey to help Iran bypass the sanctions and sell its petrochemical products, but has reportedly refused to pay back the government’s money.