June 18, 2021
Iran’s outgoing foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday criticized Canada for not allowing the Islamic Republic to set up voting stations on its territory, while he voted in Antalya, Turkey where he traveled to attend a meeting.
Iran and Canada have not had diplomatic relations for nine years. In September 2012, Canada announced it was closing its embassy in Tehran mainly citing Iran’s support for Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria as civil war in that country was raging and the Assad’s forces were accused of war crimes. Canada also cited Iran’s lack of non-compliance with United Nation’s resolutions regarding its nuclear program and fear for its diplomats in Tehran.
There are no clear international rules(link is external)(link is external) or a universally accepted practice for countries to allow others to hold elections on their territory. It mostly depends on relations between two counties if the host nation would agree to have its territory host elections for another state.
There are more than 200,000 Iranians living in Canada, with many retaining their Iranian citizenship. Canada also did not allow Iran to organize voting in 2017.
Zarif also called on all Iranians to go to ballot boxes, as calls for boycotting the tightly-controlled elections have multiplied in recent days and turnout is expected to be lower than in the past. Many Iranians say that electing presidents or parliaments has not changed anything in their country, as real power lies with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.