West News Wire: By allowing American courts to seize nearly two billion dollars in assets from Iranian companies, judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague found that the United States had broken international law. Washington was also ordered to pay compensation, the amount of which will be decided later.
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI)’s $1.75 billion was among the assets Washington had frozen on Thursday, according to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), who called the move “manifestly unreasonable.”
However, the court claimed that it lacked the authority to make a decision regarding the freezing of CBI funds.
The verdict, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, shows that Tehran’s stances are legitimate and that the US is acting illegally.
“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 US obligation to compensate for the losses will be the most cogent reason for the legitimacy of the request of Iran,” the ministry said in a statement.
It added that Tehran “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 Iranian revolution, by allowing American courts to freeze the assets of Iranian companies.
The US Supreme Court in 2016 ruled that about USD 2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be turned over to American families of people killed in the 1983 bombing of a US Marine Corps barracks in the Lebanese capital of Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran. Tehran has long rejected allegations of involvement in the 1983 Beirut bombing.
The CBI is the rightful owner of the funds seized pursuant to the US court order. The funds were frozen as a result of US sanctions.
After Iran filed two claims based on the 1955 treaty, the US officially withdrew from it in 2018.
On Wednesday at the ICJ, US representatives are expected to reply. Washington had previously attempted to have the case dismissed without success.
The ICJ, also referred to as the World Court, is the highest court of the United Nations that hears cases involving different nations. Despite being legally enforceable, the ICJ lacks the authority to carry out its decisions.