The Iranian Foreign Ministry is contesting the move to freeze its property in Canada, calling it contrary to international law.
Iranian media report that foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Monday that a Canadian judge’s move against its property in Canada is “against the principles of the UN charter and in contradiction of the Vienna Convention, diplomatic relations and consular relations.”
On November 1, the Toronto-based National Post reported that a judge in the province of Ontario has issued a restraining order against three properties in Canada that could be regarded as possessions of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The order is related to a lawsuit filed by the family of Marla Bennett, an American who was killed in a bomb explosion in Jerusalem in 2002. A U.S. court ruled that Hamas, and Iran as its supporter, are liable for the attack, and it ordered Iran to pay $13 million in compensation to her family.
The Bennetts have been unsuccessful in collecting the compensation in the United States so they are now trying to do so through Iranian properties in Canada.
The Ontario judge has issued the restraining order until a final decision can be made on the lawsuit filed in Ontario.
Mehmanparast commented on the restraining order, saying: “The immunity of the government and its property is the accepted and longstanding principle of international law and the relations between governments, and if this principle is permitted to be distorted for such purely political aims, it will signify the collapse of an international system based on the equality of governments.”
He added that the move against the Islamic Republic’s property in Canada, right after Canada severed diplomatic ties, is evidence that the move is politically motivated.
The Canadian government severed those ties in September, and Iranian diplomats were given five days to leave the country. The Iranian embassy building in Ottawa is one of the properties listed in the Ontario court order.
Ramin Mehmanparast denied the Islamic Republic’s involvement in any terrorist activities in any part of the world and said Iran reserves the right to take political and legal action to reclaim its property.