TEHRAN – Judges at The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on Thursday that the United States had violated international law by allowing American courts to confiscate nearly two billion dollars of Iranian assets owned by individuals and companies.
The ICJ ordered Washington to pay compensation, announcing its amount will be determined later.
Washington’s freezing of funds belonging to several Iranian individuals and companies, including $1.75 billion from the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), was “manifestly unreasonable,” the ICJ stated.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the verdict demonstrates the legitimacy of Iran’s positions and the illegal behavior by the U.S.
“As per this important ruling, the court rightfully dismissed the unsubstantiated defenses of the United States and recognized Iran as the rightful party by emphasizing the former’s violation of its commitments. The U.S. obligation to compensate for the losses will be the most cogent reason for the legitimacy of the request of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the ministry said in the statement, according to Press TV.
It added the Islamic Republic “considers it as one of its inherent duties to press for the rights of the Iranian nation, and will utilize all diplomatic, legal and judicial means and channels to demand the rights of the honorable Iranian people and the national interests of Iranians.”
The case before the ICJ was initially brought by Tehran against Washington in 2016 for breaching a 1955 friendship treaty, signed before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, by allowing American courts to freeze the assets of Iranian companies.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that about $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be turned over to families of Americans killed in the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran. Tehran has long rejected allegations of involvement in the 1983 Beirut bombing.
The U.S. formally withdrew from the 1955 treaty in 2018 after Iran filed two claims based on the accord.
U.S. representatives are set to respond at the ICJ on Wednesday. Washington had previously unsuccessfully sought to have the lawsuit thrown out.
The ICJ is the United Nations’ top court dealing with disputes between countries. Although the ICJ’s rulings are binding, it has no power to enforce them.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/483224/ICJ-rules-US-violated-intl-law-by-freezing-Iran-s-assets
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