No polling stations in Canada for Iranian expats: Source

Tasnim – The Canadian government denied a request by Tehran to set up polling stations in the North American country for its upcoming presidential election, a source said.

The request could not be accommodated because the Canadian government generally requires foreign countries to set up their polling stations at their diplomatic missions in Canada, the source said, The Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday.

It added that the Islamic Republic does not have a diplomatic presence in Canada and there is no appropriate place to hold the elections under the current regulations.

The source also said Iran’s request came too late.

The announcement came after Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Canada to open the way for Iranians residing in the North American country to cast their ballots in the May 19 presidential election.

The top Iranian diplomat made the call in a telephone conversation with his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland on Monday night.

Meanwhile, a political delegation from Canada’s Foreign Ministry arrived in Tehran on Tuesday morning for talks with Iranian officials on bilateral relations.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper severed diplomatic relations with Iran in September 2012, citing, among other pretexts, what it described as “continued threats from Iran to Israel”.

The two countries now maintain interests sections in the embassies of third countries.

Canada’s incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has signaled willingness to reopen the country’s embassy in Iran.