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Hardliner Iran Politician Calls For Seizing Canadian Ships, Property As Retaliation

FILE - Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh , former head of Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission.
The former chairman of Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy has called for the seizure of Canadian vessels sailing in the Persian Gulf to compensate for tens of millions of dollars worth of Iranian government properties seized by Canada.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, notorious for controversial proposals, insisted that the Iranian military should seize all vessels carrying goods and products to or from Canada as soon as possible, and Canadian assets inside Iran should be confiscated.

Meanwhile, Falahatpisheh asserted, "An official list of Canadian assets and properties inside Iran should be prepared."

However, the veteran legislator lamented that Iran has spent more money buying properties than Canada has in Iran and seizing their properties will not compensate for $28 million of Iranian assets Canada has sold.

Nonetheless, several lawmakers had earlier criticized the Islamic Republic Foreign Ministry for buying "buildings" and "redundant equipment" in Canada.
The Canadian Supreme Court ruled on August 7 that Iranian assets in the North American country should be sold the and the proceeds allocated to the victims of Tehran-related terrorism.

Two buildings owned by the Islamic Republic in Ottawa and Toronto have been sold, the local media reported.

Based on 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 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.

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.

The recipients include several American families who had filed claims in the Ontario and Nova Scotia courts, seeking a share of Iran's assets seized by the Canadian government.

Canada passed the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act in 2012, which allowed for non-diplomatic properties of governments accused of sponsoring terrorism to be seized in favor of victims' families. Plaintiffs eventually won their case against Iran in Ontario, and after Iran lost an appeal, the properties were sold.

Canada cut diplomatic relations with Iran for a host of reasons, including its support for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. In 2015 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would restore relations, but that did not materialize.