Iran blasts Canada for depriving half a million Iranians of voting

Canada was the only country that barred Iranian expatriates from voting in the snap presidential elections held on Friday, an Iranian diplomat complained.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary, and Expatriates Affairs, Alireza Bikdeli, said the Canadian government ignored several official requests by Iran to allow the Iranians in the country to cast their ballots in the presidential election.

Iran and Canada severed their diplomatic ties in 2012 over Iran’s support for Syria in its fight against foreign-backed militants. Italy and Switzerland act as the protecting powers in the absence of diplomatic representation.

Bikdeli said, “We express our protest against the Canadian government for violating Iranians’ right to participate (in the election),” cutting off the Iranian citizens’ connection with their motherland.

“Over 500,000 Iranians in Canada were denied the ballot box. It will be a disgrace for a country that claims to be democratic and an advocate of human rights,” he stated.

Iranian voters in Canada had to head to polling stations along the US border.

Over 344 polling stations were set up for Iranians around the world to take part in the election on Friday, held to fill the top executive post left vacant after former president Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage died in a helicopter crash last month.

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