Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi has strongly denounced the illegal sale of Iran’s cultural buildings in Canada as per a court ruling, describing it as a blatant violation of the international law.
In a Friday statement, Mousavi said the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran will not compromise with any other government when it comes to protecting the rights of its citizens.
He called for the immediate return of the buildings and properties, warning that if the illegal decision is not revoked and the damages are not compensated, the Islamic Republic of Iran will take action by itself based on international regulations in order to restore its rights.
In this case, he added, the Canadian government will be responsible for all its consequences.
Global News announced on Thursday that tens of millions worth of seized Iranian properties have been sold off in Canada and the proceeds handed to victims of terrorist attacks blamed on Iran and its proxy groups.
According to a document filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice last month, the victims got a share of the money earned through the sale of Iran’s buildings in Ottawa and Toronto.
The properties went for more than $28-million, documents show. The recipients were victims of Hamas and Hezbollah — terrorist groups bankrolled, armed and trained by Iran.
The Ottawa property, which had been the Iranian Cultural Centre, was particularly valuable. Marketed as a “transit-oriented development opportunity on the apron of the University of Ottawa,” it sold to a Montreal developer for $26.5-million.
The Toronto property, which was owned by a company headed by an embassy official and served as the Centre for Iranian Studies, went for $1.85-million.
The claimants included the family of Marla Bennett, a US citizen killed in a 2002 bombing blamed on the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, and Edward Tracy and Joseph Cicippio, who were allegedly taken by Lebanon’s Hezbollah from 1986 to 1991.
The court sided with the victims and awarded them Iran’s assets.
In addition to the proceeds of the sale of the properties, the victims were awarded a share of some $2.6-million seized from Iran’s bank accounts. Documents also list a Toyota Camry and Mazda MPV.