'Canada pursues Iranophobia policy'
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmnaparast says the screening of an anti-Iran documentary in Canada is a clear example of an Iranophobia policy pursued by Ottawa, Press TV reported.
The Iranium is a supposed documentary that tries to depict Iran's nuclear program as a threat against the West. The hour-long film has been produced by a US-based organization and is expected to appear on screen in the US and Canada this month.
In January, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore had ordered the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) to show the documentary, but the screening was canceled for concerns that it may spark protests.
The Canadian minister reacted to the cancelation and said in a statement that the freedom of speech was a core value in Canada that won't be compromised. "The principle of free speech is one of the cornerstones of our democracy."
Mehmanparast, however, states that the "baseless, discourteous" remarks of Canadian minister were indicative of an Iranophobia policy pursued by the Canadian government.
He said that the pretext of respecting the freedom of speech provided "no justification for spreading religious hatred."
Mehmanparast said that the screening of the film would not be the first and only instance of a "state-sponsored Iranophobia and Islamophobia policy" in Canada.
According to Mehmanparast, the Library and Archives of Canada had earlier resisted to the holding of an Iranian cultural ceremony in the institution and the Canadian heritage minister had also urged the government not to provide security for a conference sponsored by the Global Islamic Society for Peace and Love.
Mehmanparast said that all governments were duty-bound to avert the spread of cultural hatred among world's nations and urged the Canadian government to remind its minister of common "diplomatic courtesy."
Mehmanparast had earlier said in his Tuesday weekly press conference that the film proved that certain Western countries were "dismayed" by Iran's peaceful nuclear activities.
The spokesperson said that such countries were resorting to every possible means to hinder Iran's nuclear progress, and said "They even make use of different tools ... to create an unreal atmosphere in order to apply pressure on our policies."
The United States and its Western allies have accused Iran of developing a military nuclear program, an allegation rejected vehemently by Iran.
Numerous inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency have found no evidence suggesting that Iran's nuclear program is deviating toward non-military purposes.