MP urges seizure of Canada-destined ships in retaliation

September 16, 2019 - 20:18

TEHRAN – A top Iranian lawmaker has denounced Canada’s seizure of Iran’s assets, saying Canadian shipments crossing the Strait of Hormuz should be confiscated by Iran in retaliation.

The ships and goods that set off from the Strait of Hormuz to the destination of Canada should be confiscated through an order, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh said on Sunday, according to Fars.

He added that his proposal should be adopted as soon as possible.

Falahatpisheh, who is a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, maintained that courts in Iran should be authorized to seize Canadian government properties in Iran.

He also said that responding in kind to the illegal act would not suffice as Canada has not enough assets in Iran that could be subject to a similar court verdict. 

The comments came after a report by Global News said Canada had gifted some $30 million worth of Iranian assets to the victims of terrorist attacks in which Iran says has not been involved, according to Press TV.

The report said the victims have received their share of the money earned through the sale of two Iranian-owned buildings in Ottawa and Toronto, a document filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in August reveals.

The valuable Ottawa property, sold for $26.5 million, was used as the Iranian Cultural Center, and the Toronto building, sold for $1.85 million, served as the Center for Iranian Studies, the Global News reported.

In addition to the $28 million earned from the sale of the two properties, the victims were also awarded a share of some $2.6 million seized from Iran’s bank accounts. Documents also list a Toyota Camry and Mazda MPV.

In particular, they include the family of Marla Bennett, a U.S. citizen killed in a 2002 bombing that rocked the Hebrew University in Jerusalem al-Quds.

The attacks are mostly blamed on Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements Hamas and Hezbollah. The families claimed that the Iranian government supported the two organizations and was therefore responsible for their actions.

Iran has denied any role in the attacks, saying the court ruling is an unlawful move that will have consequences for the Ottawa government if not revoked.

Abbasali Kadkhodaei, the spokesman for the Guardian Council, has described the move by Canada as a blatant example of “state-run economic terrorism.”

“Economic terrorism is a method in which Western governments seize or confiscate other nations’ economic resources and interests through misusing legal tools without fair legal procedures,” Kadkhodaei, a law expert, tweeted on Saturday evening.

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