US Anti-Iran Court Rulings Illegal

The government has made it possible for Iranian citizens to press charges against the US, which has led to the issuance of rulings worth $60 billion against the United States
US Anti-Iran Court Rulings IllegalUS Anti-Iran Court Rulings Illegal

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said court rulings issued in the United States and Canada to seize Iranian assets abroad lack legal standing.

US courts have so far given several verdicts requiring Iranian frozen funds to satisfy verdicts in cases brought against Iran's government on alleged terrorism-related charges.

"The US measures in this regard lack legal credibility and the Islamic Republic has managed to block the enforcement of such rulings in other countries, except Canada," IRNA quoted Zarif as saying in a parliament session on Wednesday.

He was responding to a lawmaker's request for an update on the Foreign Ministry's response to the court rulings against the Islamic Republic.

Under a parliamentary bill titled "The Iranian Government's Reciprocal Action on Implementation of JCPOA", "Iranian citizens can file lawsuits in Iran's courts over the US criminal acts," Zarif said.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the official title of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

***Rulings Against US  

"The government of the Islamic Republic, in cooperation with the Majlis, has made it possible for Iranian citizens to press charges [against the US], which has led to the issuance of rulings worth $60 billion against the United States … but none of that amount has been satisfied," Zarif said.

The US Supreme Court ruled in April 2016 that $2 billion in Central Bank of Iran's assets be handed over to American families of those killed in the 1983 bombing of US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran.

The high court rejected CBI's argument in its appeal that the US Congress cannot pass a law intended to change the outcome of a particular court case and accuses it of doing so in its 2012 legislation.

Alongside US President Barack Obama's executive order issued in 2012 to block all of CBI's assets held in the US, the congress passed the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012, which included a provision that made it easier for the victims to be paid out of the blocked assets.

Another US court verdict in late June allowed the US government to seize an office tower in New York City owned largely by an Iranian charity organization, the Alavi Foundation.

A few days later, a Canadian court also ordered to uphold a $1.7-billion judgment issued in the US in connection with similar charges.

Plaintiffs in the case had sought compensation under Canada's Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act.

The act allowed US claimants to seek Iran's money in Canada.

Enacted in 2012, the JVTA allows victims of terrorism to sue foreign states for damages.

Claimants had turned to Canada because Tehran maintained property and bank accounts there while some Iranian government assets remained in the United States.

Also in February, Canada's Ontario Superior Court of Justice had ruled that Iran had to pay $300,000 in legal costs to the so-called victims of terrorism.

Normally, under international law, the courts of one state cannot allow legal action against another country.

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