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Iran MPs mull suing Canada seizure of assets

15 June 2016 17:37



A parliamentary panel in Iran is examining Canada’s appropriation of Iranian assets for possible launch of a lawsuit against the seizure, a lawmaker says. 

Canada’s Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered last Thursday that USD 13 billion in non-diplomatic Iranian assets be handed over to a number of families.

The decision was similar to US Supreme Court’s ruling in April to hand over about USD two billion in Iran’s frozen assets to the American families of those killed in a 1983 bombing and other attacks.

“There is an atmosphere of Iranophobia in America which doesn’t want the goals of the JCPOA to materialize in a peaceful environment,” Iranian MP Alireza Rahimi said on Wednesday.

“Court rulings against our assets under various pretexts are in line with efforts to portray a totally insecure atmosphere after the JCPOA and debase the opportunity which has been created,” he said.

The JCPOA stands for Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action which calls for the removal of all nuclear sanctions on Iran in return for Tehran’s scaling back of its activities.

Since the agreement, a number of US lawmakers have been pushing to pass legislation in order to enact new sanctions on Iran if necessary over the country’s ballistic missile tests.

Rahimi said, “We must be careful technical and legal issues do not mix with politics and legal issues are not overshadowed by politics.”

“The Iranian government must put on agenda taking legal measures in proportion to the files which are opened against us in order to defend the obvious rights of the people.”

The MP, who is a member of parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said necessary coordination has been made between the Presidential Office and the Foreign Ministry to take legal action.

“At the moment, all parts of the establishment are ready for legal pursuit of these issues,” Rahimi added.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has condemned the ruling, which comes as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government seeks to restore diplomatic relations with Iran.

“The move by the Canadian government contradicts claims about the normalization of relations between the two countries and compensation for the extremist policies of the country’s former government,” Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said last Saturday.

Iran has denied any role in the attacks which US and Canadian courts have based their cases to appropriate the country’s frozen assets.

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