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Supreme Court rejects Iranian bid for bank funds frozen in US

On Thursday, the International Court of Justice rejected Iran’s proposal to unblock about $2 billion in central bank assets frozen by the United States, but ruled that Washington illegally seized other funds.

A UN Supreme Court judge said Washington had “violated” the rights of several Iranians and companies and must compensate them.

Both arch-enemies claimed the ICJ’s verdict as a victory. Tehran said the decision underscored US “illegal actions” and Washington hailed it as a “huge victory.”

In 2016, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that assets should be paid to victims of attacks blamed on Tehran, including the 1983 bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Iran Dragged the United States to The Hague.

Reading out the 66-page judgment, ICJ Judge Kirill Gevozian said on the central bank issue, “The court voted 10 to 5 upholding the jurisdictional challenge raised by the United States.”

The controversial ruling comes amid tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and support for Russia’s war in Ukraine, along with recent US attacks on Iranian-linked groups in Syria. .

– “Unreasonable” –

Tehran, which denies responsibility for Washington’s allegations of terrorist attacks, claimed that the freezing of funds violated the 1955 “Treaty of Friendship” between the United States and Iran.

The agreement was signed long before the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the pro-American Shah and cut ties with the United States.

Iran was seeking the return of $1.75 billion and interest belonging to Iran’s central bank or Bank Markazi, along with assets belonging to Iranian citizens and companies.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that families and survivors of the 1983 Beirut bombing, which killed 299 people, including 241 U.S. soldiers, the 1996 Kobar Tower bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 people, and other attacks, I made a judgment that I should provide the funds.

On the main issue, the ICJ has ruled that there is no case to answer on Iran’s central bank issue.

Banks, as Tehran argued, do not count as businesses, and said only businesses are protected under the decades-old treaty.

But an ICJ judge said Washington had “violated its obligations” under a decades-old U.S.-Iran treaty, making it “unreasonable” to recognize the legal status of some Iranian companies. said it was

“Iran is entitled to compensation for the damage caused,” the court said.

That gave the US and Iran 24 months to agree on the amount of the payment.

– “Big Victory” –

The ICJ’s decisions are binding and cannot be appealed, but are not enforceable.

“The verdict … once again demonstrates the legitimacy of Iran’s position and the illegal actions of the United States,” Tehran’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Acting U.S. State Department General Counsel Rich Visek said the court had “dismissed most of the Iranian cases.”

“This is a big win for the victims of state-sponsored terrorism in the United States and Iran,” he said.

But State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said Washington was “disappointed” by the court’s ruling that the United States had violated the treaty.

“The treaty was not intended to protect Iran from having to compensate US victims of its sponsoring terrorism,” he said.

The US formally withdrew from the treaty of friendship in 2018 after the ICJ ordered Washington to lift nuclear-related sanctions on humanitarian aid to Iran in another case.

The frozen assets ruling comes against a backdrop of rising tensions.

Tehran recently condemned US airstrikes against Iran-linked forces in Syria, which reportedly killed 19 people.

Meanwhile, negotiations have long been in a deadlock over the reinstatement of the landmark 2015 multilateral agreement on Iran’s nuclear activities, which the US withdrew in 2018.

https://www.expatica.com/nl/general/top-court-rejects-iran-bid-for-bank-funds-frozen-in-us-566291/ Supreme Court rejects Iranian bid for bank funds frozen in US

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