Iran says it is planning to sue the United States at the International Court of Justice at The Hague to prevent the distribution of nearly $2 billion in frozen assets from Iran’s central bank to compensate American victims of terror.
In April the supreme Court ruled that Iran must pay the sum to survivors and relatives of those killed in attacks that they blamed on the Islamic republic.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said preparations are underway to file a lawsuit against the US administration for its decision to confiscate Tehran’s assets.
He promised the Iranian nation to restore their legal, political and banking rights.
His remarks came after Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called on the foreign ministry to lodge a complaint with the International Court of Justice in the Hague against a recent court ruling by the US Supreme Court which authorized the transfer of $2 billion of Tehran’s frozen assets to the families of the victims of a 1983 bombing in Beirut.
“The US stealing of Iran’s assets is against all international regulations,” Larijani said, addressing an open session of the parliament in Tehran on Tuesday.
Noting that the US impudence inconfiscating Iran’s assets should be responded, he underlined, “The foreign ministry should raise the US rulers’ shameless act at the International Court of Justice in the Hague and defend the Iranian nation’s rights powerfully.”
Larijani also urged the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission to pursue the issue seriously.
Late in April, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon underlined that the country will take legal action against a US court ruling.
“Tehran reserves the right to take countermeasures in response to the decision made by the US Supreme Court,” Zarif wrote in his letter.
He said that in the past few years, the US has persistently engaged in a dangerous practice of defying international law and order by allowing private litigants to bring civil action before US domestic courts against sovereign states, including Iran.
“Trials have been organized in absentia; self-serving judgments have been obtained in default; and claims have been laid on the assets of the Iranian people,” the Iranian foreign minister said.
Earlier last month, Zarif blasted the US Supreme Court ruling, stressing that Iran doesn’t recognize it.
“The US has long been taking decisions against Iran which contradict the international laws and the Americans have filed different lawsuits against Iran during the past years; (but) we don’t recognize the US courts’ rulings,” Zarif said in a joint press conference with his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Poposki in Tehran.
Noting that he has raised the issue during his recent meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in New York on the sidelines of a UN conference, the Iranian top diplomat said, “We see the US administration as the responsible body with regard to this issue and if they encroach (confiscate Iran’s assets), we will claim compensation from the US administration.”
Zarif also announced formation of a special committee in the government to study the US decision to transfer Iran’s assets.
In 2012, the US Congress passed a law that specifically directed the US-based Citibank to turn over the Iranian assets to families of victims of the Beirut bombing.
Iran argues that Congress is intruding into the business of federal courts over the case. Tehran has long rejected allegations of involvement in the 1983 Beirut bombing.