Suggestions that two men arrested for planning a terrorist attack on a Via Rail line had connections to al-Qaeda cells in Iran is false, says Iran’s foreign minister.
“This is the most hilarious thing I’ve heard in my 64 years,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the Iranian Isna news agency.
Salehi went on to say: “We hope Canadian officials show a little wisdom and pay attention to the world’s public opinion and intelligence.”
The report also says that Iran condemns terrorism. “We are against any kind of terrorist act,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast is quoted as saying in the report. “The extremist Canadian government has Iranophobia on its agenda and possibly, in continuation of its hostile approach, aims to link this to our country.”
At a press conference in Toronto Monday, RCMP said the two men they had arrested were planning their attack with support “in the form of directions and guidance” from Iranian al-Qaeda. RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia emphasized that the support did not appear to be state-sponsored.
Raed Jaser, 35, of Toronto, and Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal are scheduled to appear in a Toronto courtroom Tuesday.