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Majlis mulling Canadian delegation’s Iran visit

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A senior Iranian lawmaker says Majlis is considering a request by a Canadian parliamentary delegation to visit the Islamic Republic.s

The Iran-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group is studying the Canadian MPs’ request to visit Tehran, said the spokesman for the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Majlis Hossein Naqavi on Wednesday

Majlis would inform the Iranian Foreign Ministry of the outcome of its deliberations, Naqavi noted.

“Parliamentary diplomacy is conducive to improving diplomatic relations,” the Iranian lawmaker added.

Tehran does not pursue the policy of severing ties with other countries, said Naqavi, adding the Canadian delegation’s visit to Iran seems to be aimed at laying the groundwork for the amelioration of relations between Iran and Canada.

During her weekly press conference on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham also confirmed the news of a Canadian parliamentary delegation’s potential visit to Tehran.

Afkham expressed hope that the visit would lead to a realistic approach among Canadian political decision makers and provide them with a real picture of recent developments in Iran.

On September 7, 2012, the Canadian government closed its embassy in Tehran and ordered Iranian diplomats to leave Canada within five days.

The Canadian government also froze the bank accounts of many Iranian nationals living in Canada and banned money transfers to Iran.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird in September 2012 cited a number of reasons for Ottawa’s decision to sever tie with Iran, including the West’s dispute over Tehran’s nuclear energy program, the country’s support for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as “threatening the existence of Israel.”

Canada’s last ambassador to Iran John Mundy sharply criticized the government for its abrupt severance of ties with Tehran.

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