US Casts Preliminary Objections On Iran’s Claim Of $1.75bn Frozen Assets

International Court of Justice
Members of the International Court of Justice conduct a hearing on alleged violations of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between Iran and the United States, August 27, 2018 (Photo: REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo)

Tehran is facing off with the United States of America once again at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday on a case concerning the frozen Iranian assets which the Islamic Republic lay legal claims. The US started off its defense with preliminary objections on its side, arguing that The Hague-headquartered court holds no jurisdiction over the case.

According to Reuters, Washington asked the ICJ judges to throw out the claim by the Iranians to recover a total of USD$1.75 billion of frozen assets previously seized by US courts.

As explained by the news agency, the US Supreme Court has issued a ruling in 2016 which turned over the said national bank assets to families of the victims of the 1983 bombing of a US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, and those other victims of terrorism.

This particular hearing is separate from Iran's earlier appeal, urging the international tribunal to act on the US government's efforts to restrict its economy by way of imposing two new waves of sanctions.

As further mentioned over at Press TV, this recent complaint from Iran has invoked the Treaty of Amity which was signed between America and the embattled country, way back in 1955.

Under the treaty, the Iranian assets had been held by Citibank N.A. in New York, sanctioned by Clearstream Banking S.A., a Luxembourg-based international central securities depository, which would be for the benefit of Iran's Central Bank, the Bank Markazi.

Citing the statement from Richard Visek, the legal adviser to the US Department of State, the root cause of this case actually boils down on Iran giving support to international terrorism.

Visek even went out to call for the court to reject Iran's suit. The Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, on his part, echoed the latter's remark saying that Tehran has been using the so-called World Court to forward its own political propaganda. One of which is to destroy the image of the United States in the international community.

In a statement released through his office, Pompeo said that it is America's duty to honor its fallen heroes and their families who have fallen victims of Iran's apparent advocacy on terrorism. The US diplomat further said that ICJ should just dismiss Iran's case.

Iran will be the first to lay out its oral arguments this Wednesday, with the second round of hearings for both the plaintiff and the defendant to take place on October 11 and 12.

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