September 17, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today issued the following statement:
“Canada is pleased to announce that the Government of Italy has agreed to serve as Canada’s protecting power in Iran.
“The Government of Italy has agreed to provide critical support in urgent cases involving Canadians who require consular assistance in Iran, among other functions.
“Canada conveys its deepest gratitude to the Government of Italy for agreeing to provide this valuable assistance to Canadians and to the Government of Canada, which further demonstrates the strong ties between our two countries.
“Canada will continue to vigorously advocate on behalf of detained Canadians, particularly those facing the death penalty, through our protecting power and our allies.
“We continue to advise Canadians to avoid all travel to Iran.”
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The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations give nations the authority to designate a protecting power, or third country, to exercise consular and other functions on their behalf should diplomatic relations cease between two states.
Canadians in Iran who require urgent assistance should first contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa by calling collect 613-996-8885 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.