Saturday, 17 February, 2018

Iran asks U.N. chief to intervene with U.S. after court ruling


Iran asked U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday to convince the United States to stop violating state immunity after the top U.S. court ruled that $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be paid to American victims of attacks blamed on Tehran, Reuters reported.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote to Ban a week after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, calling on the Secretary-General to use his “good offices in order to induce the U.S. Government to adhere to its international obligations.”

Zarif’s appeal comes amid increasing Iranian frustration at what they say is the failure of the United States to keep its promises regarding sanctions relief agreed under an historic nuclear deal struck last year by Tehran and six world powers.

In the letter, released by the Iranian U.N. mission, Zarif asked Ban to help secure the release of frozen Iranian assets in U.S. banks and persuade Washington to stop interfering with Iran’s international commercial and financial transactions.

“The U.S Executive branch illegally freezes Iranian national assets; the U.S Legislative branch legislates to pave the ground for their illicit seizures; and the U.S Judicial branch issues rulings to confiscate Iranian assets without any base in law or fact,” Zarif said.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s top adviser Ali Akbar Velayati was quoted by Iranian state media as saying that “Iran will never abandon its right and will take any necessary action to stop such an international theft.”

“This money belongs to Iran,” he said.

Ban’s spokesman and the U.S. mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the letter or the accusations made against the United States.

Zarif told Ban he wanted to “alert you and through you the U.N. general membership about the catastrophic implications of the U.S. blatant disrespect for state immunity, which will cause systematic erosion of this fundamental principle.”

The U.S. Supreme Court found that the U.S. Congress did not usurp the authority of American courts by passing a 2012 law stating that Iran’s frozen funds should go toward satisfying a $2.65 billion judgment won by the U.S. families against Iran in U.S. federal court in 2007.

“It is in fact the United States that must pay long overdue reparations to the Iranian people for its persistent hostile policies,” Zarif wrote, citing incidents including the shooting of an Iranian civil airliner in 1988.

Last week Zarif met several times with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in New York to discuss Iranian problems accessing international financial markets.

Tehran has called on the United States to do more to remove obstacles to the banking sector so that businesses feel comfortable investing in Iran without fear of penalties.

U.S. Rejects Iran’s Protest on Asset Ruling

The United States on Friday rejected Iranian accusations that it had broken international law with a Supreme Court ruling that allows the use of seized assets from Iran’s central bank to compensate American victims of terrorist attacks, NY times reported.

Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, said in a statement on Friday that American officials were aware of Mr. Zarif’s letter to Mr. Ban but that the United States rejected the complaint about the Supreme Court ruling. “We believe the U.S. laws and the application of those laws by the courts of the United States comport with international law,” Mr. Toner said.

Regarding Mr. Zarif’s other complaint, Mr. Toner reiterated assertions made last week by Secretary of State John Kerry that the United States was “committed to doing our part” in the nuclear deal.

“The United States is not standing in the way and will not stand in the way of business that is permitted with Iran” since the nuclear deal took effect, Mr. Toner said.

Mr. Ban’s spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, confirmed on Friday that Mr. Ban had received Mr. Zarif’s letter but declined to comment further.


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1 Comment

  1. Char

    June 8, 2021 at 7:44 am

    Full of salient points. Don’t stop beveliing or writing!

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