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Canadians across party lines support cutting ties with Iran: poll

Iranian Canadians rally in support of Ottawa’s decision to close its embassy in Iran.

SEAN KILPATRICK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canadians overwhelmingly agree with the federal government's decision to suspend diplomatic ties with Iran, according to a new public opinion survey.

The poll from Angus Reid found 72 per cent of Canadians agreed with the decision. Support came from across party lines, though most prominently among Conservative supporters (86 per cent) over NDP voters (67 per cent). The support was also consistent across regions.

Canada's move to close its embassy in Tehran and expel Iranian diplomats from Ottawa was announced Sept. 7.

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Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird warned the country was a significant threat to world peace and said Canadian diplomats were in danger, though some former diplomats and international observers have disagreed with the decision.

When asked how the international community should deal with Iran, respondents were more mixed. Thirty per cent supported diplomatic negotiations (presumably more difficult for Canada with current ties cut), 29 per cent supported economic sanctions and 17 per cent wanted more military intervention either by launching military strikes on nuclear facilities (12 per cent) or a full-scale invasion (5 per cent).

Angus Reid conducted the online survey among 1,002 Canadians on Sept. 17 and 18. The poll has a margin of error plus or minus 2.5 per cent, 19 times out 20.

The Canadian government also recently ordered one-day closings of its embassies in Egypt, Libya and Sudan over security concerns.

Italy announced Monday that it is protecting Canadian interests in the country after the embassy closure.

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About the Author
Assistant editor, Ottawa

Chris Hannay is assistant editor in The Globe's Ottawa bureau and author of the daily Politics newsletter. Previously, he was The Globe and Mail's digital politics editor, community editor for news and sports (working with social media and digital engagement) and a homepage editor. More

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