A court in the Canadian province of Ontario has issued a restraining order against Iran’s property in Canada, a bid to help the family of an American victim of a terrorist attack collect on a U.S. court’s $13-million judgment against Iran.
The National Post reported on Thursday, November 1, that the court has frozen three properties to prevent them from being sold or transferred while the court decides whether they should be seized, as the family of Marla family tries to collect the $13- million dollar judgment.
The Bennett family of San Diego filed a lawsuit against Iran as a supporter of Hamas for their daughter’s death 10 years ago in a bomb explosion at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
While finding Hamas responsible for the bombing, the judge went on to also blame Iran, saying it “has continuously provided material support to and sponsorship of Hamas and its members so that they may undertake terrorist attacks like the one in this action.”
The court has ordered Iran and its Ministry of Information and Security to pay the Bennett family $13 million in compensation and, unable to collect the sum in the U.S., the family has turned its attention to Iranian assets in Canada.
The properties in question, according to National Post, are: “A large, four-storey building surrounded by a high metal fence at 245 Metcalfe Street in Ottawa, that housed Iran’s embassy until ordered closed last month by the Canadian government; a one-storey back-split converted into offices at 290 Sheppard Avenue West in Toronto, that operated as the Centre for Iranian Studies but is currently available for lease; A long, industrial building at 2 Robinson Avenue in Ottawa, near the University of Ottawa, operated as the Iranian Cultural Centre.”
A motion to have the U.S. judgement recognized in Ontario failed, as the family could no longer serve Iranian officials with the order after Canada cut diplomatic ties with Iran, which led to closure of the Iranian embassy and the return of Iranian diplomats to Iran.
Other than the Iranian embassy building, the two other properties are not officially listed as Iranian government properties, and the final decision of the court is pending until the full motion has been heard by Judge Allen.