Iran on Thursday accused Canada of killing a young Iranian, fuelling a transatlantic row already raging between the two countries over the death of a Canadian journalist in Tehran.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi accused Canadian police of attacking three Iranians in the western city of Vancouver on Wednesday, wounding two and killing the third.
Dubbing the assault as ‘unjustifiable,’ Asefi said “Iran will seek through diplomatic channels clear and convincing explanations on the crime.”
“Why have the Canadian police, who should safeguard the security of the people, committed this disgraceful crime which scared Iranian citizens living in Canada,” Asefi wondered.
He identified the dead Iranian as Keyvan Tabesh and demanded that those responsible for his death be brought to justice.
The Iranian accusation follows recriminations earlier this month over the death of a Canadian photo-journalist Zhara Kazemi in Tehran.
Incensed by reports that Kazemi died on being hit on her head by Iranian security officials, Canada recalled its envoy to Tehran and threatened to review its ties with Iran.
But on Thursday, Iran turned the heat on Canada.
“Iran wants the Canadian government to give an explicit and transparent and satisfactory explanation about this criminal act and to hand over those responsible for this regrettable event to justice,” the Iranian spokesman said.
'Why have the Canadian police, who should safeguard the security of the people, committed this disgraceful crime which scared Iranian citizens living in Canada'
The Iranians also accused the Canadian media of blacking out the Vancouver incident.
“The strong censorship of this story creates more ambiguities,” the foreign ministry spokesman said.
Making it seem like a revenge killing, Iran’s latest accusation will put the strained ties between the two countries under further stress.
Kazemi, buried on Wednesday in Iran against the wishes of her son living in Canada, died more than two weeks after she was arrested for taking pictures outside a prison in Tehran.
An initial Iranian inquiry said she died of a brain haemorrhage caused by a severe blow to the head. But if failed to specify whether the blow was deliberate or who may be responsible.
The Iranian authorities have ordered a further investigation.