Economy, Business And Markets

Iran Preparing Asset Lawsuit Against US

Iran Preparing Asset Lawsuit Against US Iran Preparing Asset Lawsuit Against US

The government is preparing a lawsuit against the US at the International Court of Justice over a US Supreme Court ruling which would transfer over $2 billion in frozen Iranian funds to American victims of alleged terror attacks.

Mohammad Jafar Ghanbari, deputy head of presidential office for legal affairs, said the US courts have been violating the Iranian government’s legal immunity for more than 20 years and acting against international law, he was quoted as saying by IRNA on Tuesday.

On April 20, the US Supreme Court ruled that about $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be turned over to American families of people killed in the 1983 bombing of a US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran. The Islamic Republic has denied any role in the attacks.

The money confiscated under the US court ruling belongs to the Central Bank of Iran. The assets have been blocked under US sanctions.

“We have been watching such illegal acts but we have not been able to go through the legal procedures to reclaim our rights,” Ghanbari said.

“However, the recent ruling by the US Supreme Court, as the top judicial authority in that country, gives us the opportunity to take the cases to the international court.”

  Rouhani Weighs In

 President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday Iran will soon lodge a complaint against Washington with The Hague over the US court ruling.

“The government will never allow the money that belongs to the Iranian nation to be easily gobbled by the Americans,” he told a large public rally in the southeastern city of Kerman.

Rouhani pledged that Iran would “take this case to the International Court [of Justice] in the near future and will not spare any effort towards the restoration of the nation’s rights through legal, political and banking channels.”

Tehran has denounced the seizure of the frozen assets as “highway robbery,” vowing that the Islamic Republic will retrieve the money.

Last week, 120 member states of the Non-Aligned Movement denounced the US ruling, calling it a violation of Washington’s international and treaty obligations concerning “the sovereign immunity of states.”

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Tuesday urged the Foreign Ministry to take the case of the US misappropriation of Iranian assets to The Hague-based International Court of Justice.

“We also ask Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission to diligently pursue the issue,” he said.

“Even when this (misappropriation) was not possible through US legal channels, Congress passed a law tailor-made for the case.”

He was referring to a law passed by the US Congress, which included a provision making it easier for the Americans to seize Iranian funds frozen in the US.