In a swipe at Iran, Canada’s Justice Minister Jason Kenney says the country is determined to promote gay rights on the international stage.

In a speech last Friday before the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, Mr Kenney mentioned efforts taken by the Canadian government to provide a safe haven for gay Iranians who are at risk of homophobic persecution in their own country.

Mr Kenney said Canada had welcomed more than 100 gay asylum seekers from Iran since 2009.

Homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran, and many LGBT citizens have fled to neighbouring Turkey. There they can file a claim with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which then works with countries like Canada on resettlement.

Earlier this month, the Canadian government suspended diplomatic relations with Iran after formally listing the country as a state sponsor of terrorism under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act.

Meanwhile, a state-sponsored newspaper in Iran recently published claims that Jewish people in the West were trying to spread homosexuality around the world.

Iranian authorities announced in June that they had shut down a prominent publishing house in Tehran because of its “promotion of homosexuality, incest, and sexual relations between men and women outside marriage”.