US Supreme Court building

Iran top officials dismiss US court ruling as “international robbery”

Tehran,  April 26, The Iran Project – Iranian senior officials have strongly criticized US Supreme Court ruling that grants almost $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets to American families of those killed in attacks blamed on the Islamic Republic. 

Speaking to a reporter on Tuesday, Gholamali Haddad Adel, Iranian Member of Parliament, denounced the seizure of around $2 billion in frozen assets recently authorized by a US court ruling, and said US action clearly violates the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

After signing the JCPOA, US officials thought they can intervene in Iran’s internal affairs; they want to influence Iran’s internal policies and change its regional behavior by putting it under economic pressure, Haddad Adel added.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei also criticized US court over frozen funds ruling, calling it an international robbery.

The Islamic Republic will retrieve the sum anyway, said Velayati on the sidelines of a meeting with Swiss Deputy Foreign Minister Yves Rossier on Tuesday.

Referring to the US court’s recent decision, Vice-Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Seyyed Mohammad-Hassan Aboutorabi Fard as well called international community to stand against US robbery of the nations’ rights.

Besides, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed US supreme court move in an unprecedented tone and told The New Yorker interviewer “It is a theft. Huge theft. It is highway robbery. And believe you me, we will get it back.”

The foreign minister said, “The United States has committed a lot of crimes against Iranians, against the people of Vietnam, the people of Afghanistan, the people of Iraq.”

“The Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of the United States, not the Supreme Court of the world. We’re not under its jurisdiction, nor is our money,” he added.

On Monday, Zarif had said that Iran would act to sue the United States at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague to retrieve the USD two billion.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry pose for a photo opportunity prior to a meeting on April 19, 2016 at the United Nations in New York. (AFP)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry pose for a photo opportunity prior to a meeting on April 19, 2016 at the United Nations in New York. (AFP)

On Saturday, First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri deplored US court judgement and said “The Iranian administration will definitely use all legal means to regain the fund and the US knows that the administration can do that.”

Jahangiri said the US court’s decision amounted to stealing the Central Bank of Iran (CBI)’s funds which had mainly been kept in European banks.

Moreover, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, said on April 21 that the ruling has mocked international law, adding that it “amounts to appropriation of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s property” in the United States.

He warned that such moves increase the distrust between Tehran and Washington.

It is worth noting that Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Swiss ambassador to Tehran, who looks after US interests in Iran, to protest the recent verdict by US Supreme Court against the Islamic Republic on Tuesday.

The Swiss ambassador said he will immediately notify the US Department of State and report back the results to Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

The court on April 20 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.

Iran has denied any role in the attack, and the money confiscated under the US court ruling belongs to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The assets have been blocked under US sanctions.


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