Iran has rejected a politically-motivated ruling by a Canadian court to seize more than USD 7 million of the Islamic Republic’s assets and properties.Iran, as usual, is lying. As this National Post article shows, they were informed of the court case, and the assets being seized are not diplomatic properties. (Not to mention the obvious fact that Iran supports terror groups both monetarily and with weapons.)
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Saturday that Iran was not informed about the legal proceedings, adding that the court ruling has therefore “no legal value” to Iran.
An Ontario judge in Canada recently ordered the seizure of more than USD 7 million of assets and properties belonging to Iran over some plaintiffs alleging that the Islamic Republic funds terrorist groups.
“Given the approach of the Canadian government, it is crystal clear that the verdict is politically-motivated and such rulings have no legal value,” Afkham said, reminding the Ottawa government of its international commitment to protect diplomatic properties.
Pointing to Canada’s move to sever ties with Iran unilaterally, Afkham said under international law diplomatic properties have immunity, warning Ottawa of the legal repercussions of disrespecting international regulations.
The Iranian official stated that Iran, as a victim of terrorism, has always denounced this inhuman scourge.
[A]fter failing to defend itself in court, Tehran’s protest was too little, too late. Following last week’s judgment, sheriffs have been ordered to sell Iran’s properties, empty its bank accounts and divide the proceeds between several terror victims.The Iranian Cultural Centre in Ottawa , one of the assets seized, looks nothing like a cultural center. It is more like a warehouse, behind a fence that says "Private Property".
The groundbreaking court decision brought to an end four lawsuits filed in Ontario, Nova Scotia and British Columbia by terror victims seeking damages from Iran for training, arming and financing Hamas and Hezbollah.
The suits followed the enactment in 2012 of the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, which permitted those harmed by terrorists to seek damages from the state sponsors of their attackers. The government also amended the State Immunity Act to allow such lawsuits.
Only one of the plaintiffs is a Canadian, Vancouver dentist Sherri Wise, who was badly injured by a Hamas suicide bomber. The others are American terror victims who came to Canada to collect on judgments awarded by U.S. courts.
The Ontario court ruled in their favor last Monday, ordering sheriffs to seize a Scotiabank account worth $1.7-million controlled by Iranian diplomat Hamid Moharrami, and an RBC account with a balance of 333,000 euros controlled by Reza Shaker, the Iranian embassy’s chargé d’affaires.
The evidence “overwhelming establishes” that the money in the accounts was the property of Iran, the judge ruled. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Iran has 14 Canadian bank accounts holding at least $2.6-million.
Also to be sold, with the proceeds handed to the victims, is a building at 290 Sheppard Ave. W. in Toronto that is owned by Farhangeiran Inc., and another at 2 Robinson Ave, in Ottawa owned by The Mobin Foundation. Property records show the Toronto building was purchased in 2005 for $827,000. The Ottawa property was acquired in 2003 for $1 from Fatima Cultural Activities Inc., records show.
The “evidence overwhelmingly permits me to conclude that both properties are beneficially owned by Iran and constitute non-diplomatic assets of Iran in Canada,” the judge wrote. He said there was evidence the Ottawa property was linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
The assets are to be shared among the victims according to a deal worked out by their lawyers. The Iranian embassy and official residence in Ottawa are considered diplomatic property and therefore cannot be seized.
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Apparently they did sponsor some programs on Canadian campuses before Canada expelled Iranian diplomats. More about that center can be seen here.
(h/t Josh K)