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A new war of words has broken out between Canada and Iran after Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird criticized the Islamic Republic’s new president Thursday, and his Iranian counterpart fired back with his own barbs.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani came to power amid a flurry of hope and promise in August, and quickly mounted a charm offensive aimed at breaking with his predecessor’s past and ending Iran’s international isolation.

That culminated in a historic phone call between Rouhani and U.S. President Barack Obama in September and prompted optimism that Iran was ready to open up to the world, particularly when it comes to its...

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