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Don’t be too quick to condemn TD for shutting Iranian accounts

It takes a little pain to ensure Tehran doesn’t gain


 
It takes a little pain to ensure Tehran doesn’t gain

Cole Garside/Ottawa Citizen

Sanctions are meant to hurt. In lieu of declaring war or taking other military action, embargoes and sanctions have been used throughout history to inflict pain on other nations to convince them to behave. Of course, this sort of economic weaponry also has an impact on the country doing the imposing. So it should come as no surprise that Canada’s sanctions on Iran are causing some unpleasantness at home.

As we argued on this page in February, economic sanctions against Iran are a good thing. And the tougher the better. The country poses the single greatest threat to world peace due to its efforts to produce nuclear weapons and destabilize the Gulf region. There’s also plenty of evidence the current round of sanctions by Western countries is having the desired effect. Following the European Union boycott of Iranian oil this spring, petroleum exports from Iran have fallen dramatically. In fact, Tehran recently announced a major “maintenance” program at its oil fields in lieu of actually pumping the stuff. It’s also declared a ban on reporting the impact of the sanctions.

Since Canada doesn’t buy oil from Iran, our role in isolating Iran has taken the form of monetary and commercial measures. Exports of oil and gas technology have been forbidden, as have most financial transactions between Canada and Iran. And in enforcing these new rules, Toronto-Dominion Bank recently closed the accounts of dozens of Iranian-Canadian customers. This has provoked much public outrage, including calls for a boycott of TD. Nazanin Afshin-Jam, the wife of federal Defence Minister Peter MacKay and an Iranian-born human rights activist, claims the bank is “harming innocent Iranian-Canadians.” Some have likened it to racial profiling or the displacement of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. It seems like yet another reason to hate banks.

Keep in mind, however, that Canada’s financial sanctions are quite sweeping by design. The federal rules forbid Canadian banks from providing services “to, from or for the benefit of . . . any person in Iran.” (An exception is made for non-commercial transactions of up to $40,000, so there would seem to be plenty of room for the diaspora to send money back to relatives.) According to TD spokesperson Barbara Timmins, these strictures mean any customers with active employment or residence in Iran, or who have previously conducted significant transactions with Iran, must be denied banking services. TD took an all-or-nothing approach: if a customer fell into one of the above categories, their mortgage was also denied renewal, even if the mortgage alone posed no obvious benefit to Iran’s ruling mullahs. As other banks have escaped publicity for enforcing the sanctions, it seems they’ve interpreted these rules less strictly.

It is certainly possible to go too far in enforcing sanctions against Iran. Last month, for example, staff at an Apple store in Alpharetta, Ga., refused to sell an iPad to college student Sahar Sabet when she was overheard speaking Farsi, citing a U.S. government prohibition on exporting technology to Iran. It’s unquestionably wrong to deny anyone service based solely on their ethnicity or language. But perhaps we ought to have a bit of sympathy for TD and its current public-relations nightmare.

Banks are increasingly required to enforce a myriad of domestic and international rules and regulations, many of which have nothing to do with the business of banking in Canada. Canadian banks, for example, have been hit by numerous extraterritorial American laws regarding taxation and investing. And with a constant barrage of international banking scandals, including the current allegations of Libor interest-rate rigging, it should come as welcome news that a bank has sought out the strictest possible interpretation of any law. Finally, with different banks taking substantially different interpretations of the sanctions, perhaps Ottawa could have done a better job writing its own rules.

It may be that TD was overzealous in implementing the sanctions. Timmins told Maclean’s her bank is now offering to review some of its previous decisions to cancel accounts. Good for them. And anyone denied service at TD also has plenty of other banks to choose from. But we need to remember that sanctions, in order to work, must be as broad and biting as possible. This may cause some unexpected pain in Canada but the alternative?international military action to put a stop to Iran’s nuclear program?will be much more painful for all concerned.


 

Don’t be too quick to condemn TD for shutting Iranian accounts

  1. “but the alternative−international military action to put a stop to
    Iran’s nuclear program−will be much more painful for all concerned.” What an adorably naive black and white universe you North Americans share. Guess certain nations are always meant to be ducklings….in search of cues to waddle after ;-)

  2. “perhaps Ottawa could have done a better job writing its own rules”

    Absolutely – and not just on this issue. The current government is burdening the nation with huge numbers of half-baked laws and regulations.

  3. It was also once legal to freeze assets and deny financial services to Jews and Japanese-Canadians. People apparently weren’t too quick to condemn those as well.

  4. Dear Cole,
    Is this article a joke?

    Oh sure, try to justify… you are not Iranian and you are not the one being discriminated against.

    Did you know big banks have a history of fraud and deception?
    Have you forgotten the financial crisis caused by big banks at the cost of tax payers? Does the term bailout ring a bell? In 2009 Canadian banks received tens of billions of “secret bailout” money costing each Canadian tax payer including me (the unwanted Iranian-Canadian tax payer) $3400 each, from which their executives paid themselves about $10 million each as salary and bonus for bankrupting their corporation. Wake up buddy, it’s your money too.

    What is it with you and Iran anyway? for the past 100 years we Iranians have suffered from your political wrongdoings and interference. Why doesn’t you buy your oil elsewhere and leave Iranians alone … just like you did during the Iran-Iraq war?

    • I assure you, if he was inconvenienced in any way himself, he would be screaming “bloody murder” until the cows came home.

  5. Hey man, it is PERSIAN GULF not gulf. Havn’t you been in highschool?

  6. As an Iranian-Canadian I am proud that TD Bank has the courage to step up to the plate and do something that many other institutions and governments have not. The Iranian government and some of its people have openly stolen – yes stolen – money, land and the livelihood of many innocent people of their own land who have no rights whatsoever so if this hurts a few who have commercial dealings with that vile government and the fanatical. And ignorant multitude then let it be! Thank you TD!

    • Sir, you can be whatever nationality you like, you can even be a pink elephant, if it pleases you, but this does not give you the right to get the facts wrong and to consequently argue for such a vile position, thanking TD, a corrupt financial corporation no less! This is especially disturbing, given that you yourself are of Iranian heritage.

      So let me get it straight here, you think that because the Iranian government is a “vile” government doing terrible things in Iran, this gives a Canadian bank the right, or is some way makes it OK, to deny Canadians and legal immigrants of Iranian heritage their rights here in Canada regardless of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? It is this very Canadian document, and related laws, that sets Canada apart from Iran, and you would have us deny its legitimacy and application to protect Canadians, whilst criticizing the Iranian government for denying its people the same rights and freedoms that this document enshrines? This is skewed and hypocritical on so many levels!

      No, actually it seems that you think these individuals, whose accounts were closed, are somehow tainted, since, as you put it, they have had “commercial dealings with that vile government.” It seems that on this point you are just dead wrong factually. Have you read a single news article in recent weeks? The point is that many of the accounts closed, or at least a significant number of them, belonged to individuals who had no commercial or non-commercial dealings with Iran, or had non-commercial dealings under 40K, and were, therefore, not in violation of the sanctions/regulations in any way whatsoever. The claim is that TD’s actions were extra-judicial and discriminatory. Rather, these people were bringing their money here, not sending it to Iran, so for the benefit of Canada or people in Canada, not for the benefit of Iran or people in Iran. Here are two examples, both of which have been in the media. In the first case, a woman hadher accounts closed and her rights denied, despite having made her last transaction with Iran over 4 years ago, so a number of years before the new sanctions came into effect. In another case, a man who had not made a single transaction with Iran for over two decade, yep that’s right, and had been living in Canada for all that time, had his account closed.

      Let me remind you, this is Canada, not Iran, and the people who live here have their rights and freedoms protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the other laws of the land. Don’t use rhetoric and misinformation to argue for and defend such an ignorant and vile position. The denial of the rights and freedoms of a single person anywhere in the world is unjustified, unjust, and highly dangerous in respect of what it can lead to, so please don’t hypocritically criticize the denial of rights and freedoms by one government whilst justifying the same policy/action by another government, or corporation no less.

      • Its those ignorant and fanatical people who follow and support that government, cheering while innocents get beaten and raped, get arrested for no reason, their houses set on fire? Yes, its the Iranian people who stand by and watch and cheer. Don’t worry – I have been there and I have seen it with my own eyes the crowds cheering while innocents are beaten to dath. No one is willing to speak up for human rights – only if your dirty money supporting that dirty government is frozen will your voice be heard calling for Justice. Where are you when thousands of innocent lives are lost? Where is your eloquent voice then? Why don’t you do something to stop the madness of this government? Don’t speak of what you do not understand. If you want to talk justice, speak up for the innocents in the prisons of Iran, for the women of Iran, for those destitute with no voice and no money. Have you, Mr. Michael Cohen lived in Iran? Have you experienced the suffocation that is life in that country? What you speak of is not justice, just self-interest because as soon as your money becomes available again, your voice will go away because those others don’t matter to you. Go away and put your head back in the sand.

        • Mohammad, I lived in Iran for many years and I was there in the streets fighting in 2009, so please don’t rant and criticize this moral fellow on the basis of having lived there and knowing what goes on there. I lived through the injustice for 30 years! I saw friends arrested, executed and tortured. For many years I saw what this regime does. You are not the only one who knows these basic facts, and certainly not the only one who has lived through them and fought on that soil. No, you have no right to speak in my name or others who fought with me!

          Do you think your experiences in Iran, or mine, and the suffering of our people, past, present and future, justifies or somehow makes OK the violation of the rights and freedoms we hold dear here in Canada? Are you insane? Have we not come here to be free and to have our rights protected? How dare you justify and condone the violation of our rights and freedoms here. This fellow, Michael, made a clear distinction in rational discourse for you, and you just replied with a rant about the suffering of Iranians in Iran? Don’t embarrass yourself and confuse the two issues. Rights and freedoms of ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE should be protected. How dare you say that because the rights of Iranians are being violated it’s OK or understandable that the rights of Iranian Canadians and legal immigrants from Iran be violated and ignored in even the most minor of ways? Shame on you, sir! I have suffered enough over the years living under that tyrannical regime in Iran to not have to hear this garbage and have my rights and freedoms denied again in old age in this country. Michael is right, Iran is not Canada, and we have laws that secure our rights and freedoms here. You should listen to reason and sound judgment, when it’s presented to you.

          • And if you are not breaking any of Canada’s laws you should be able to get your money back from the Bank of Canada who is now handling this situation.

        • Mammad baba boro dareto begir, moshkele ma irania vojoode adamayee mesle toe.

          Agha enghad edaye canadai irani mikoni charta kalamaro yad begirdorost spell kon. Migam Mohammad esm ke dige nashod dige, avaz kon bezar Johni, Davidi chizi yekam bishtar zowb beshi too in tavileye canada.

          hameye inaro ham ke begi, age too in mamlekat fekr mikoni adam hesabet mikonan, pooli dar miario khialet rahate ke dige hamechiz radife, vase ina arabi bish nisti aghaye irani-canadai ke be estelah kheili inja zendegi mikoni….

      • Please remove your head from your bottom already and smell the roses. I don’t know what kind of bleeding heart you are, but you seem lost.

  7. The most idiotic sentence ever uttered: “(Iran) poses the single greatest threat to world peace”.

    First of all, when did we even achieve world peace? You can’t threaten something that doesn’t exist. Afghanistan, Iraq, the occupied Palestinian territories, Somalia, Chechnya etc are all alight with violence.

    Secondly, how is Iran even a threat to this non-existent world peace? Iran has not started a war in over 100 years. It openly states that its military posture is defensive (which our military/intelligence concur).

    The single greatest cause for the lack of world peace today are the nut-bags who keep repeating garbage like “_______ poses the single greatest threat to world peace” (writers of this article included). These whack-jobs live or support countries which are extremely powerful and start a disproportionate number of wars (Russia, China, UK, France, USA).

    They usually choose their targets in countries which are far militarily inferior to their own and already largely destroyed.

    Sanctions are nothing but the preparation for attacking an economically destroyed and largely defenseless Iran, in the future (see Iraq War).

  8. And let yet another proverbial witch-hunt begin. You know, the author of this article, who seems to have remained anonymous *cough* coward *cough*, needs to go look through some history books and see how the holocaust and other genocides started. It starts really small, and with something that almost seems justifiable and reasonable like closing bank accounts. Then we’ll be denied from schools, and libraries and government buildings… and so on.

    “Keep in mind, however, that Canada’s financial sanctions are quite sweeping by design.”

    So you’re admitting that this is institutional racism? Do you really believe in this garbage?
    Here’s the problem with this idea Einstein – the majority of people affected are not actually violating the federal sanctions. I’m also pretty sure that the majority of people that have had their accounts closed are not sending over their pennies and dimes for the government to build a nuclear weapon.

    “The country poses the single greatest threat to world peace due to its efforts to produce nuclear weapons and destabilize the Gulf region.”

    Hmm… let’s deconstruct this.

    “greatest threat to world peace due to its efforts to produce nuclear weapons ”

    So, creating nuke = threat to world peace. So I guess the U.S. and their lapdogs (NATO) would actually be the GREATEST threat to peace in this world since they, you know, INVENTED the bomb.

    “destabilize the Gulf region.”

    Wait, the gulf is stable right now? Really? Are you on acid? Name me one country in the ME that is stable right now? I would actually argue that Iran is one of the ONLY stable countries in that reason and this war rhetoric and an attack on Iran is meant to destabilize it (which is ‘good’ for the west).

    The real fear is that Iran will become powerful in that region and that the Arabs will flock to it’s feet (away from U.S., Europe, etc). And then, bye bye oil and gas.

    • Funny you can mention Holocaust about and artile on Iran’s aggressive nuclear program. Are you daft?

  9. So this is how stupidity looks like in writing…

  10. At the time that I read this webpage, the image for the “week in pictures” on the sidebar was a picture of Obama face-palming. I guess he read this article.

  11. “Staff at an Apple store in Alpharetta, Ga., refused to sell an iPad to
    college student Sahar Sabet when she was overheard speaking Farsi,
    citing a U.S. government prohibition on exporting technology to Iran.”

    As the first news reports make clear, Sabet was planning to give the iPad to her cousin in Iran, which is illegal.

    • Of course, the U.S. export laws are ludicrous, because there’s plenty of Apple products available for sale in Iran.

    • And this supports the Mullahs how? The so-called Arab Spring was mainly based on social media, including cell phones…

      • Indeed, obviously Michael doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Or maybe the U.S. doesn’t. Who can tell these things?

      • Arab Spring took women’s rights back in all those countries by almost a thousand years. All becaause a female government officer ticketed an unlicensed male fruit vendor in Tunisia and he had a meltdown. There ‘s your Arab Spring. Nothing gained, just going backwards some more.

  12. If you look at the sidebar,
    the image for the “week in pictures” is a picture of Obama face-palming.
    I guess he read this article too.

  13. Once again, you have shown your bigotry and lack of journalistic skill. This is the position you take, speaking up for a bank?!? How sad! Didn’t you get your fill of outrage and disgust with your magazine after publishing that racist article entitled “Too Asian”? Now the Iranians? Who’s next? Who do you want to alienate from mainstream Canadian society next? You make me sick!

  14. The funny thing about this article is that the authors don’t even deny that TD might have overreached in their interpretation of the law. They just retreat to a very general claim that “sanctions are supposed to hurt.” Well, yes, but they are not supposed to violate the civil rights of Canadian citizens. Then there is the asinine claim that “anyone denied service at TD also has plenty of other banks to choose from.” Yes, and in the 1950s blacks excluded by restrictive covenants also had plenty of other housing to choose from. Give me a break. Finally, if the authors had done their research on the cases, they would have found that those whose accounts were closed did not clearly fall under ANY of the categories delineated by the sanctions.

  15. Are we really doing this again in Canada in 2012? Thought we might have learned by now but guess not. What’s next – property confiscation and internment camps and then eventually a belated politically correct apology 50 years later – too little too late?

    • They will be next if Iran does not come to its senses soon.

  16. I’ve mentioned this in other contexts but what reporters fail to mention is that when individuals complain about government or institutions they are actually at an advantage. Because of privacy legislation, the government department or an institution CANNOT release ANY information that might shed light on the situation.

    If reporters were actually doing their job, they would request that the individual complaining waive their right to privacy so that we can see, in this case, the transactions, that caused the bank to question what was going on. I suspect we would see very clearly why the bank did what it did.

    Unfortunately, reporters don’t do that so the individuals can carry on with their accusations forever and we will NEVER know the truth. The picture is painted that the bank is racist, biases or just downright mean (which fits in with many reporters’ view of any big institution).

    I challenge anyone of these individuals to waive their privacy rights and allow the bank to reveal to everyone the specific transactions that caused the bank concern?

    No takers? What a surprise!!!

    • If you have read the article, you will have noticed that TD Bank is the only bank that interprets the already ambiguous law in a even more ambiguous way as a matter of policy. If TD Bank was reasonable in its approach, we would no doubt have heard about cases in other banks. But so far we haven’t. In case you forgot, here is the excerpt:

      “According to TD spokesperson Barbara Timmins, these strictures mean any
      customers with active employment or residence in Iran, or who have
      previously conducted significant transactions with Iran, must be denied
      banking services. TD took an all-or-nothing approach: if a customer fell
      into one of the above categories, their mortgage was also denied
      renewal, even if the mortgage alone posed no obvious benefit to Iran’s
      ruling mullahs. ”

      My suggestion: read, think, write. Preferably in that order.

      Good day.

      • Yes I read the article, but your comments DO NOT address my point.

        First we actually don’t have that many Iran-Canadians who will be sending/receiving money from Iran and we don’t actually have that many banks so it is very likely that there could be a concentration of such accounts in one bank.

        Or maybe TD is just a little more conscientious of their duties to this – I don’t know and my point is NEITHER do you!!!

        Until those individuals complaining allow the bank agree to reveal the information protected under privacy legislation we will NEVER have a complete and full understanding of this situation.

        THEREFORE, I ask again – will reporters ask the individuals to waive privacy rights, and will the individuals do so???

    • Finally, someone with some common sense on this matter. I applaud your suggestion and we can wait to see if there are any takers. Well said.

  17. I sometimes think commentaries should be left out of serious newspapers altogether. I’m sure the author was well-intentioned, but commentary does not mean stating whatever opinion crosses ones mind. There are opinions that are based on sophisticated thought processes and there are opinions that make you just shake your head. I’m afraid this article falls into the latter category.

    Let me illustrate my point. Why don’t we put all people accused of an offence by the Crown strait into prison, without bothering with due process. That way we would be sure that all criminals would be punished. Sure, some innocent accused would be falsely convicted, but that’s just the price we have to pay for maintaining the rule of law.

    Or how about this. We ban every Canadian who was born in a country not on good terms with Canada from ever boarding an air plane departing or arriving in Canada. That way we could ensure that no high-jacking could ever occur in Canada. Sure, millions of Canadian citizens would be unable to ever board an airplane again, but that’s the price we have to pay for our freedom.

    For good measure, and for all you law and order conservatives out there, let me give you another example. How about we implant a microchip into every Canadian. That way we would always know where everyone is at any given time. This would allow us to virtually eliminate crime over night. Sure, it would be a huge violation of the person and privacy, but, yes you guessed it, this is the price we have to pay for the elimination of crime.

    The truth is that the end does not justify all means, whatever the end is. There are competing interests in every society, which must be carefully balanced against each other. Black and white vision just doesn’t cut it, I’m afraid.

    Now could someone delete this article please?

  18. How many people in North America can pay cash for a house ? Not too many, eh ? What I’m trying to say, is that Banks are a “Basic Necessity of Life”. Ask a Judge, “How do you get to work?….if he says he rides his bicycle, ask him how it’s made. Since I’m on the topic, Oil & gas are basic necessities too. I dare anybody to challenge this in a Court of Law.

  19. I can’t stand the Iranian regime, but their citizens are an altogether different matter. Doesn’t anyone remember the failed protests by Iranians against the regime just a couple of years ago? And furthermore, roughly half of “Iranians” are actually Persians, who had their country taken over by Muslim Arabs. I think the TD is targeting the wrong people by closing those accounts.

  20. Dear Cole,

    Thanks for your article. We should never forget the human side of the story. Mass closing of these bank accounts can only be viewed as a
    statistic and one can easily justify TD’s actions according to your reasoning. Of course, one can always find justifications for everything even for the most dreadful deeds, e.g., Japanese Canadians were sent to internment camps based on speculation of espionage. But this type of reasoning is of tyrants like Joseph Stalin who once said “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”
    People who immigrated from Iran to Canada should not be held accountable for the wrongdoings of the Islamic regime. I humbly ask you, just for a few moments, imagine that you were in the same situation. Do you like to be treated in the same way in this hypothetical situation?
    Of course, TD is trying to do all these things based on lawful grounds but
    Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. Dr. Martin Luther King

  21. I can’t believe the article is permitted at MacLeans. How did the author felt if another nationality was propagated on the news in a similar situations; for example, Canadians in the US for whatever reason?

    Perhaps, those Iranian individuals deserved the TD action, but what about other Iranians as a nation? When one uses the word of Iranians, he would refer to a nationality not an individual or an abusive government.

    The action is especially surprising from a bank like TD that
    filled all downtown Toronto walls with diversity campaign. Are there any connections at all between
    marketing and legal sections at TD??

    • Educate yourself on what Sanctions against Iran means. This was not done lightly so do not be so easily manipulated by your turning the other cheek at this moment in time.

  22. The Canadian government and other regulatory
    bodies have imposed various regulatory sanctions and restrictions against
    certain countries including Iran. Sanctions against Iran are designed for
    specific purpose and targets organizations and government of Iran and
    individuals who deal with them.

    Article’s assumption that “Sanctions are meant to hurt” and ”
    ..we need to remember that sanctions, in order to work, must be as broad and
    biting as possible” although correct in principle however is used in the
    wrong context, making it logically flawed. Who is getting ‘bitten’ and
    who are we ‘hurting’. Sanctions are NOT meant to hurt sanctioner, sanctions are
    meant to inflict hurt upon sanctionee . Therefore sanctions are designed to
    interrupt operations of Iranian government and its affiliates and are not
    designed to interrupt the life of Canadian Citizens with certain ethnicity. Canadians
    irrespective of their ethnicity are inseparable part of Canada.

    In practice the country that applies sanction
    always reserve the right to retrieve its own assets, meaning assets owned by
    government, corporations and individuals held in the country under sanction. Is
    Canadian government surrendering its assets in Iran due to sanction, as a tax
    payer I sure hope the answer is negative.
    Hypothetically if TD held any assets in Iran I presume TD would have
    done anything with in its capability to liberate its assets that in no doubt
    would have been shareholders request too. Almost always in the past when a
    country has gone under sanction, example Cuba (by Americans), South Africa
    (international community), Libya (Europe and United States), Iraq
    (international Community), the parties to sanction have tried to salvage their
    assets. In the case of United States
    sanction on Iran after US hostage crisis in early 80’s by the United States
    government, American corporations and individuals moved quickly to recover
    assets held in Iran and during that process Iranian held assets in united states were frozen and various
    lawsuits were settled from that source.

    Very recently United States has granted
    exceptions to few countries and corporations with respect to sanction relieving
    them of all or certain aspect of the sanction limitations allowing them to deal
    with Iranian oil companies. Granting similar exceptions could be considered for
    individuals, hence Canadian individuals who have assets in Iran must be allowed
    to salvage their assets.

    “And
    in enforcing these new rules, Toronto-Dominion Bank recently closed the
    accounts of dozens of Iranian-Canadian customers.” These stats are incorrect, the actual numbers are
    in many hundreds and for that reason the bank is not transparent with
    statistics. This may be an attempt on the part of the bank to wash the issue as
    insignificant after all one may ask what’s the fuss with closing ‘a dozen’ of individual accounts in breach of
    sanctions? Well a lot more than a dozen clients have been affected and in many
    majority of cases effecting individuals with absolute no ties to Iran in any
    shape or form.

    Also the article despite acknowledging bank
    overzealous attitude has a tone of arrogance in defending TD by falling short
    of extending any sympathy towards innocents who were unjustly being affected by
    bank actions and still praising TD by writing: “Good for them. And anyone denied service at TD also has plenty of
    other banks to choose from.” Really!
    How would anybody would like to wake up
    to see personal and business bank accounts frozen, bills could not be paid,
    credit cards terminated with a demand to pay off car loan and mortgage by month
    end? The appropriate expression is shame on them. Reality is the bank has
    broken the law. It is against the banking laws of Canada for a bank to
    interrupt the life of citizens by its actions. For that TD must accept
    responsibility. ” Timmins told Maclean’s her
    bank is now offering to review some of its previous decisions to cancel
    accounts” , someone must ask Timmins ”why
    on earth should a customer with any self respect would want to engage or reopen
    accounts with TD after being treated like that?” In this day and age of
    comparative drive to get clients having an account with TD and allowing them to
    hold your savings is a privilege extended by the client to the bank and not the
    other way round. The demand is for TD to
    stop the raw practice of unreasonable terminations going forward.

    Many Canadians who originate from sanctioned countries
    may still have assets in those countries such as savings, real properties,
    pension income and inheritance. All assets of Canadians in a hostile country
    should be considered assets of Canada and all levels of government must provide
    assistance and give hand to have them retrieved if necessary.

    Article hits the nail on the head when
    reads: “… Canadian banks, for example, have been hit by numerous
    extraterritorial American laws regarding taxation and investing. And with a
    constant barrage of international banking scandals, … ” As matter of fact this one single point is
    the real issue and what is at stake for TD. This is what TD fears most and wishes
    to prevent. Until recently TD had transactional relationship agreement with
    ‘Parsian Bank’ a private Iranian bank. It is unknown what other relationship
    bank has had with other Iranian banks and what sort of transactions have been
    facilitated through any relationships.
    Due to huge American market involvement TD needs to show US regulators it
    is complying and is doing something. In the past Credit Swiss, USB , HSBC and
    ING had to write $100’s of millions as penalties for dealing directly or
    indirectly with Iranian government and companies. TD is preparing to present
    its record on the issue. Surely it would look good in front of American
    Regulators to report that hundreds of personal and business accounts with Iran
    connection terminated giving the impression of effort, compliance and intent.
    Unfortunately using Iranian-Canadians as scapegoats is the wrong efforts, it
    will not help towards sanction goals as stated at the beginning of this writing
    and is the wrong assignment if TD is serious about doing its homework on
    sanctions.

    Also
    agree with the article where it writes: “Finally, with different banks
    taking substantially different interpretations of the sanctions, perhaps Ottawa
    could have done a better job writing its own rules.” Perhaps Canadian government needs to
    help short sighted policy readers of this bank to get a better read on the
    sanction and make sure other banks won’t harass and intimidate taxpaying law
    abiding citizens who have come to Canada to live under protection of law and
    order.

    • Send your complaints to your Iranian Homeland and get them to fix YOUR problem.

  23. Actually, the US poses the biggest threat to world peace, with its refusal to permit a Palestinian state, and its continuing support of dictators in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and (until recently) Egypt. Remember that the US is the only country to have actually used a nuclear bomb against civilians.

    • Yes, and we all know just how progressive the Arabs will be with their new lands. No roads, buildings or schools. All still living in Mohammed’s 7th century like cave people.

  24. “The country poses the single greatest threat to world peace due to its efforts to produce nuclear weapons ”

    Absolutely ridiculous. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), the consensus view of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, is that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program.

    How many times are you shameless war propagandists going to repeat this lie?

    “and destabilize the Gulf region.”

    By what criteria is Iran trying to “destabilize the Gulf region”, that doesn’t apply to the groups funding the rebels in Syria?

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