Tehran accuses Canadian police of killing Iranian
Diplomatic ties between Canada and Iran deteriorated further as a war of words erupted between them after Ottawa recalled its ambassador over the questionable death of an Iranian-Canadian journalist in Iran, AFP reported.
Canada announced Wednesday that it was recalling its ambassador to Iran after Tehran confirmed it had buried photojournalist Zahra Kazemi in the city Shiraz, where she was born.
On Friday, Iran accused Canadian police of killing an Iranian in Vancouver, British Columbia, throwing new fuel on the diplomatic row.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said an Iranian national, who he identified as Kayvan Tabesh, had been killed in Vancouver. Two Iranians had also been wounded in the "unjustifiable" incident, Asefi told state television.
"The Islamic republic will seek through diplomatic channels clear and convincing explanations of this crime," he said.
Reynald Doiron, a spokesman for Canada's department of foreign affairs, said the young Iranian man was killed while apparently "attacking people with a machete," and that his death should not be compared to Kazemi's.
Later, police in Port Moody, just east of Vancouver, said that the Iranian man had been killed July 14 after charging at a police officer with a machete following another incident in which the person attacked a car.
Speaking on Friday, Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi noted the foreign ministry is responsible for safeguarding the rights of Iranian nationals everywhere in the world, employing all its capacities to shed light on the issue.
"We can not accept comparing the death of Mrs. Kazemi and killing of Mr. Kaiwan Tabesh by the Canadian foreign ministry."
"Their early statements appear to be an unjustified defence of the Canadian police act in swift killing of an Iranian citizen rather than an attempt to clear the situation" he added, according to IRIB.
The Canadian government, Kharrazi said, has failed in its political responsibility to inform Iran about the incident.
"We urge on the Canadian police for a clear and convincing explaination and a full investigation into the case, thus, bringing the culprits into justice".
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)