Iran's Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, says talks are under way with Canada to normalize diplomatic relations, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported Saturday. Velayati gave no details of the negotiations with Ottawa but stressed that Tehran wants no relations with countries that oppose its policies.

Iran, isolated diplomatically and put on the defensive after a string of military defeats in its war with Iraq, is making clear efforts to improve its links with Western countries.

Canada closed its embassy in Tehran in 1980 after Canadian diplomats sheltered several Americans who had escaped from the U.S. Embassy when it was stromed by Iranian militants in November 1979. The Canadian helped smuggle the Americansout of Iran.