News ID: 232403
Published: 0304 GMT October 07, 2018

ICJ begins hearing over US seizure of Iran's assets

ICJ begins hearing over US seizure of Iran's assets

National Desk

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday started hearing a lawsuit filed by Iran against the US seizure of $1.75 billion in its national bank assets.

The Monday’s ICJ session was the second face-off between the two countries after the court last week ruled in favor Iran over its complaint against the US reimposition of sanctions following its pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal on May 8.

The United States on Monday asked judges at the court to throw out Iran’s complaint.

Iran filed the complaint with the ICJ – the principal judicial organ of the United Nations – on June 14, 2016 over the freezing of billions of dollars in its assets either inside or outside of America under US court rulings.

The latest instance of such rulings occurred on April 20, 2016, when the US Supreme Court upheld an earlier verdict by a lower district court to turn over approximately 1.75 billion dollars in frozen Iranian assets to victims of "terrorism."

The Monday hearings came less than a week after the US was handed a defeat at the ICJ in a separate case filed by Iran over the reimposition of sanctions that had also invoked the "Treaty of Amity."

Last Wednesday, the ICJ issued an interim ruling according to which the US "shall remove... any impediments arising from the measures announced on May 8 to the free exportation to Iran of medicines and medical devices, food and agricultural commodities" as well as airplane parts.

Humiliated after that defeat at the court, and in a knee-jerk reaction, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would be scrapping the 1955 treaty.

It will take a year for a withdrawal from the Amity Treaty to take effect and Iran’s case against the asset seizure will continue regardless.

National Security Adviser John Bolton also said the US would no more be recognizing the jurisdiction of the UN court and would be withdrawing from the Optional Protocol and Dispute Resolution of the 1961 Vienna Convention, which established the ICJ.

Despite the assertions by Pompeo and Bolton, America has sent a legal team to the ICJ for the new hearings.

The hearings in The Hague will run until Friday and focus on US objections to the UN’s highest court’s jurisdiction. No date for a ruling has been set.

The ICJ was set up after World War II to rule on disputes between the United Nations member states. Its rulings are binding.

Reuters, Press TV and AFP contributed to this story.






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