Passport

Iran warns citizens of the dangers of travel to Canada

A through-the-looking-glass moment form Iran's foreign ministry, as reported by the CBC:

Iran's foreign ministry says "Islamphobia" and "Iranophobia" are growing in Canada and Iranians who come to Canada could face possible arrest, attacks, expulsion and murder.

The government also warns Iranians to be careful not to walk into traps laid by criminal groups.

"Given the fact that Iran has no longer an embassy in Canada and some anti-Iranian groups in the country have a good opportunity to take revenge on the Iranian nationals, the nationals should be vigilant about the issue," the Tehran Times reported.

Apparently, Iran's foreign ministry also said that Iranians in Canada have lost the right to access their bank accounts to "do ordinary transactions."

Canada shut down its Tehran embassy and expelled Iran's remaining diplomats earlier this month over Iranian support for Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.

According to government data from 2006, 121,510 people of Iranian descent live in Canada -- the country's 10th largest non-European, non-Native American ethnic group. 

Not everyone's quite so concerned about the growing tention. When President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was asked about Iran-Canada relations by a CBC reporter in New York this week, he replied, "I fundamentally don't see this as a very important issue." So there. 

Passport

Drudge on Obama skipping meetings with foreign leaders: President Clinton?

Mitt Romney has called President Obama's decision to not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the U.N. General Assembly a "mistake." The Republican National Committee has criticized the president going on "daytime TV instead of meeting with foreign leaders at the U.N." Conservative news outlets have eagerly picked up the story. This morning the Drudge Report offered its take: photos of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting with heads of state in New York alongside a story on Obama campaigning in Virginia -- all below the headline, "President Clinton?"   

The criticism isn't entirely original (see the New York Times) or accurate (Obama did meet, albeit briefly, with Yemen's president and the U.N. secretary-general on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly), but it has been a recurring campaign theme this week. The president's U.N. schedule hasn't made its way into campaign ads yet, but the conservative group Let Freedom Ring did release a spot on Tuesday highlighting the fact that a U.S. delegation did not walk out of a U.N. meeting on Monday in which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized Israel. "Why did your administration sit with Iran rather than stand with Israel?" the narrator asks.

The U.S. delegation did boycot Ahmadinejad's General Assembly speech on Wednesday, but I imagine we won't see a Let Freedom Ring ad praising the action.