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Peter MacKay's Iranian-born wife shocked TD closing Iranian Canadians' accounts

Iranian-Canadian Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Conference Chair and President of Stop Child Execution, delivers her speech during the Geneva Summit for Human Rights Tolerance and Democracy at the International Conference Center in Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland on April 19, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Keystone - Salvatore Di Nolfi
July 13, 2012 - 2:09 PM

TORONTO - The Iranian-born wife of Defence Minister Peter MacKay says she is shocked at TD Canada Trust's decision to close accounts belonging to a number of Iranian Canadians without offering them a proper explanation.

Members of the community say TD (TSX:TD) has been notifying Iranian-Canadian clients that it would no longer provide them with banking services — in some cases referring to Ottawa's economic sanctions against the Tehran regime.

Nazanin (nah-zah-NEEN') Afshin-Jam believes the bank is "unintentionally" misinterpreting the sanctions, and says it is the government's responsibility to properly explain the details of these sanctions to financial institutions.

In a statement released Thursday, TD said it is required to comply with Canadian bank laws and regulations, including economic sanctions, and said decisions to end customer relationships are not taken lightly.

Afshin-Jam says the flow of funds between Iran and Canada should be monitored closely, but customers should only be targeted when large sums of money are being sent that could directly benefit the Iranian regime.

She says Iranian Canadians sending small amounts of money to family members back home should not be targeted.

Afshin-Jam says that other Canadian banks are properly interpreting the sanctions, while TD has overreacted.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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