| 24 April 2024, Wednesday |

Iran takes Canada to UN court over terror compensation

On Wednesday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced that Iran has initiated legal proceedings against Canada. Iran’s claim is based on the allegation that Canada has permitted victims of alleged terror attacks to seek compensation from Tehran. The ICJ, as the highest court of the United Nations, will handle the case.
Tehran’s case claims that Ottawa, which listed the Islamic Republic as a sponsor of terrorism in 2012, had violated Iran’s state immunity.
Iran asked the Hague-based ICJ to make Canada overturn a law passed in the same year that allows victims to collect damages from state terror sponsors in Canadian civil courts.
“Canada has adopted and implemented a series of legislative, executive, and judicial measures against Iran and its property in breach of its international obligations,” Iran said in its filing to the court.
Tehran also demanded compensation from Canada.
Iran’s application cites a Canadian court judgment in 2022 that awarded more than $80 million in compensation to the families of six people who died when Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner almost two years ago.
Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 was downed shortly after take-off from Tehran on January 8, 2020, killing all 176 people aboard — including 85 Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
Three days later, the Iranian armed forces admitted to downing the Kyiv-bound plane “by mistake.”
Iran also cited a 2016 ruling by a Canadian judge ordering Iran’s non-diplomatic land and bank accounts to be handed over to victims of attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah.
The judgment awarded a reported $13 million to families of Americans who died in eight bombings or hostage-takings in Buenos Aires, Israel, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia from 1983 to 2002.
The families, led by the parents of Marla Bennett, who was killed when a suicide bomber struck at a cafeteria at Hebrew University in Israel in 2002, had successfully sued Iran in the United States.
“Iran respectfully requests the Court to adjudge and declare that by failing to respect the immunities of Iran and its property, Canada has violated its international obligations toward Iran,” Iran’s ICJ filing said.
Canada broke diplomatic ties with Iran in 2012 as relations frayed over Tehran’s support for Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, its nuclear program, and threats to Israel.
Iran launched a similar case at the ICJ against the United States in 2016 seeking to unfreeze assets seized by Washington to compensate victims of terror attacks.
Judges in March rejected Iran’s bid to free nearly $2 billion in central bank assets, but ruled the United States had illegally seized funds of some Iranian companies and individuals.
The ICJ was set up after World War II to resolve disputes between UN member states. Its judgments are final but can take years.

  • Arab News