Bahram Qassemi

Iran blasts Canadian court ruling as “Unacceptable”

FNA- The Iranian foreign ministry condemned the Ontario court ruling ordering the government of Iran to pay the legal costs of what it alleged as victims of Iran-sponsored terrorist attacks, dismissing it as “unacceptable”.

“The ruling is against the obvious principles of the international law on the judicial immunity of governments and their assets, and is unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, the Canadian judge has issued the ruling without any attention to the international regulations and the principle of the governments’ equality, and the ruling is dismissed by us,” he added.

Qassemi said that Iran has officially protested at the Canadian government for the court ruling and reserves the right for itself to pursue the issue through political and legal action.

Relations between Tehran and Ottawa were severed by Canada’s conservative government in 2012.

In relevant remarks in January, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi referred to the relations between Iran and Canada after the 2015 nuclear deal, and said, “They voice interest in entering a new atmosphere of relations with Iran. We also consider such remarks as good and positive but emphasize that these comments should be translated into action.”

“There is an obstacle on this way which is the legal restriction approved by the parliament during the former Canadian government’s tenure which has called off the political immunity of Iran in Canada,” Takht Ravanchi said, expressing the hope that the approval would be cancelled to help the further expansion of ties between Tehran and Ottawa.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion said in March that his country’s 2012 move to cut diplomatic ties with Iran has had no positive consequences, expressing willingness for re-engagement with the Islamic Republic.

“Canada’s severing of ties with Iran had no positive consequences for anyone: not for Canadians, not for the people of Iran, not for Israel, and not for global security,” Stéphane Dion said while addressing an international conference at the University of Ottawa.

The administration of former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper severed diplomatic ties with Iran in September 2012, citing, among other pretexts, what it described as “continued threats from Iran to Israel.”

Dion said, “Canada’s embassy in Iran has been closed for over three years. With which results? Is it right to need to count on Italy to protect our interests in this country?”

This came after former Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s interest in resuming ties with Tehran, but said Ottawa needs to take practical steps to this end.

“The Canadian government should show in practice that it intends to establish equal relations with Iran that is based on non-interference and mutual respect,” Jaberi Ansari said last February.

He further reminded that it was the former Canadian government that unilaterally suspended its relations with Tehran, reminding that practical measures should be initiated by Ottawa.

Canada maintains an interest section in the Italian embassy in Iran.

“Today, Canada must return to Iran to play a useful role in that region of the world… We are being asked by all sides to reengage, and we are doing so,” Dion said.