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Iranian press review: Canada warned of retaliation over property seizures

Meanwhile, Iran hosts delegation of Taliban and senior IRGC figure says Trump should go on trial
Canada last week sold two Iranian-owned buildings in Toronto and Ottawa for $28.5m. (Reuters/File photo)

The head of Iran's judiciary has warned Canada over the recent confiscation and sale of Iranian assets, IRIB news agency reported, after the North American country seized two of Iran's buildings.

Canada last week sold the two buildings in Toronto and Ottawa for $28.5m. The buildings belonged to the Iranian government and were confiscated to pay compensation to western victims of attacks by the Palestinian Hamas movement and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

Ebrahim Raisi on Monday asked for the immediate reversal of Canada’s decision and threatened the Canadian government with retaliation if Ottawa does not return the properties to the Iranian government.

Raisi added that his country now has the right to seize Canadian assets in Iran.

Meanwhile, Iranian legislator Heshmatollah Felahatpisheh suggested that Iran should adopt a policy of retaliation to stop other countries from confiscating its properties.

“Not only should we confiscate Canada’s properties in Iran, but also we should consider the possibility of seizing the cargo ships and the goods heading toward Canada from the Strait of Hormuz,” Felahatpisheh said.

Tehran hosts Taliban

A Taliban delegation arrived in Tehran on Tuesday for a new round of talks with Iranian officials about a peace agreement in Afghanistan, Tasnim news agency reported

Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesperson for the Afghan government, condemned Iran’s move and wrote on Twitter: “hosting Taliban is against all principals and relations between the two countries.”

The last meeting between Iran and the Taliban was held in December, a week after US President Donald Trump cancelled US-Taliban talks.

Following the collapse of the US-backed talks, a new wave of suicide attacks began in Afghanistan, killing at least 50 civilians.

Iran and the Taliban are traditional enemies, but Tehran has changed its approach toward the Taliban since Washington last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal. Some see Iran’s new policy as part of Tehran’s regional tactic of increasing its strategic depth.

Last month, 2,307 civilians, armed forces and Taliban fighters were killed and 1,984 were wounded, making August one of the deadliest months of the 18-year US war in Afghanistan.

Trump on trial

A former head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guardian Corps (IRGC) has declared Iran’s wish to "one day bring Donald Trump to trial" and stressed that the ousting of national security adviser John Bolton from the White House was not the only thing that Iran has been seeking.

Mohesen Rezaei, the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council and head of the IRGC during the Iran-Iraq war, did not provide more details on the nature of the court that Iran seeks to bring the US president to.

“In recent years, the Americans have been surrounded by our revolutionary forces in the region. Their power in the military field has become limited, which is why they are trying to drag the war [with Iran] to the economic and cultural fields,” he said.

Rezaei, a conservative politician, urged Iranian President Hassan Rouhani not to “even stay somewhere close to Trump during a United Nations meeting at the end of this month”.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Monday also ruled out any talks with Washington at any level. US-Iran relations have entered a new level of hostility after the US pulled out from the 2015 agreement.

* Iranian press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.