Iran Lawsuit Against US Filed in ICJ
Iran's lawsuit against a US court's decision to give the victims of terrorist attacks blamed on Iran the right to collect some $2 billion in Iranian assets has been filed with the International Court of Justice, Iran's Presidential Office announced on Sunday.
The lawsuit was submitted to ICJ last summer over the US Supreme Court verdict to seize Iranian assets worth $2 billion.
According to Iran's Presidential Office, the International Law Department of the Presidential Office on Wednesday filed Iran's lawsuit with ICJ, which has been devised under eight chapters and contains more than 2,000 pages of documents, IRNA reported.
The detailed lawsuit presented to ICJ has been reportedly drafted by a team of Iranian and international lawyers specializing in international cases in less than seven months.
The Foreign Ministry, CBI and "other government entities and companies that suffered losses from the US international violations" helped draft the lawsuit.
In 1983, a bomb killed 241 US Marines at their barracks in the Lebanese capital Beirut. The US claims that Iran is responsible for the incident. The US Supreme Court ruled last year in favor of seizing $2 billion in assets belonging to the Central Bank of Iran, holding Iran financially responsible.
Iran has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif calling the seizure of Iranian assets “highway robbery” in an interview with the New Yorker. “Believe me, we will get it back,” Zarif had vowed at the time.
Late June, ICJ received the lawsuit that explained how the US, pushing for many years to designate Iran “a state sponsor of terrorism” strongly contested by Iran, had adopted a number of legislative and executive acts that have the practical effect of subjecting the assets and interests of Iran and Iranian entities, including those of the Central Bank of Iran, to enforce US proceedings even where such assets or interests “are found to be held by separate juridical entities”.
The statement also emphasized that Washington’s seizure of Iran’s assets was against the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights that had been signed by the two countries in August 1955–referred to as the 1955 Treaty–and was “still effective”.
Other assets that had been mentioned in the lawsuit belonged to Iranian companies but which had been confiscated in the US by virtue of “baseless” rulings of American courts, the Presidential Office said.
The lawsuit has been registered at ICJ’s office in 125 electronic and written copies. It highlights the history and chronology of the events as well as laws and regulations pertaining to the claim.
As per the law, ICJ will now communicate Iran’s lawsuit to related justices.
Based on a directive issued by ICJ on July 1, the US has been directed to present its defense until Sept. 1, 2017.
Under Article 54 of ICJ’s proceedings, once the defense arguments are filed, ICJ will hold a session to hear the verbal defense of the two sides and issue its ruling following consultations with judges.
As per Clause two of Article 53 of the proceedings, ICJ will take a decision on the publication and public announcement of the two parties’ arguments related to the case, once the proceeding sessions are held.