Iran says U.S. began litigation industry

TEHRAN— As proceedings in the Iran-U.S. lawsuit began Monday in the Hague-based court, Iran announced that the U.S. had built a “industry of litigation” over terror charges against Tehran in violation of international law.

Iran’s lawyers filed a petition with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Monday to unfreeze billions of dollars in assets held by the U.S. They claimed that Washington violated a 1955 friendship treaty made prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution by permitting American courts to seize assets from Iranian enterprises, including $1.75 billion from Iran’s Central Bank (CBI).

In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that around USD 2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be returned to American relatives of victims murdered in the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, and other assaults perpetrated on Iran. Tehran has consistently denied any participation in the 1983 Beirut attack.

The CBI owns the money confiscated as a result of the U.S. court verdict. The assets were frozen as a result of U.S. sanctions.

Tavakkol Habibzadeh, Iran’s delegate, told the ICJ judges on Monday that the U.S. judgment allowed for “billions of dollars in compensation and punitive penalties through default judgments.”

As a result, the U.S. has “developed an industry of litigation against Iran and Iranian enterprises,” he says.

Vaughan Lowe, another Iranian lawyer, stated that Iran “denies that it is liable for the injuries to those people.”

“Never mind demonstrating that Iran is responsible in any single case,” Lowe stated, adding, “Never mind showing that Iran is guilty in any particular case… Sentence first, then verdict.”

On Wednesday, U.S. representatives are scheduled to answer at the International Court of Justice.

In 2018, the United States formally withdrew from the 1955 deal after Iran filed two claims based on the agreement.

On Wednesday, U.S. representatives are scheduled to answer at the International Court of Justice. Washington had previously attempted, but failed, to have the lawsuit dismissed.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), often known as the World Court, is the premier court of the United Nations that deals with international issues. Although the ICJ’s decisions are binding, it lacks the authority to enforce them.


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