4th dossier on Iran, US at Int’l Court of Justice

Tehran, June 19, IRNA – Iran has recently filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the United States. This is the fourth time since the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran that they are taking their disputes to the international body.

The latest one has been filed by Iran with the ICJ following a recent ruling by the US Supreme Court which authorized seizure of $2-billion-worth of Tehran’s frozen assets deposited in an account at the City Bank of America.

The first one of the series happened when the US complained to the ICJ over hostage taking incident of its embassy staff in Tehran only a few years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran never took the case into consideration.

Another case goes back to 1988 when Iran Air Flight 655 was shot down by the United States Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes on July 3, 1988.

The incident happened in Iran’s airspace over its territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.

Following Iran’s lawsuit with the ICJ, the US officials, who knew well that the court would judge against America, proposed paying compensation to Iran and to the families of the victims. Iran accepted the proposal at that time.

The third case relates to US attacks to Iran’s Salman and Nasr platforms in the Persian Gulf. Iran complained to the ICJ but the final verdict was in favor of the US.

At its new lawsuit filed with the ICJ against the US, Iran has called on the Court to examine violation of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights between the United States and Iran.

According to the Treaty, Iran says, the US had no right to take unilateral action to seize Iranian assets.

Iran states that this particular action of the US is a violation of the 1955 bilateral agreement.

Based on the 1955 Treaty, the two sides should solve problems on the basis of reciprocal equality of treatment.

According to the US domestic laws, the Supreme Court is not entitled to seize two billion dollars of frozen assets of Central Bank of Iran (CBI).

However, US Congress passed the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 that unilaterally permitted the country to seize CBI frozen assets and give them to the victims’ families of terrorist attack in Lebanon.

The US has accused Iran of having a hand in that terrorist attack though Tehran denies any connections with the incident.

US seizure of Iranian assets has been described as a nonconformist action.

Iran’s latest suit against the United States comes amid objections by experts that the US Supreme Court decision stands against both domestic laws of the country and the international regulations as well as the 1955 Treaty.

International regulations state that in cases of contradictions between national rights and international laws, the latter gets the priority.

Therefore, in this particular case, the US acted against the international laws when deciding to seize Iranian assets.

This compels the Iranian government to use all its legal capacities and consult international lawyers to get a proper overview of this complicated issue to convince the ICJ judges that the US has made a mistake and taken the wrong action.