In a partial victory for Iran, judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled Washington had illegally allowed courts to freeze assets of some Iranian companies and ordered the USA to pay compensation, the amount of which will be determined later.
However, in a blow for Tehran, the World Court said it did not have legal jurisdiction over US$1.75 billion in frozen assets from Iran’s central bank.
Acting Legal Adviser Rich Vise of the US State Department said in a written statement that the ruling rejected the vast majority of Iran’s case, notably where it concerned the assets of the central bank. This is a major victory for the USA and other war victims.
The ruling comes amid heightened tensions between the USA and Iran after tit-for-tat strikes between Iran-backed forces and US military personnel in Syria last week.
Relations have been strained after attempts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers stalled, and as Iranian drones are being used by Russia against Ukraine.
The case before the ICJ, also known as the World Court, was initially brought by Tehran against Washington in 2016 for allegedly breaching a 1955 friendship treaty by allowing US courts to freeze assets of Iranian companies.
The money was to be given in compensation to victims of some other terrorist attacks. The Islamic Republic of Iran clearly denies supporting international terrorism.
Washington finally withdrew from the 1955 friendly treaty with Iran in 2018. Nonetheless, the ICJ ruled that it was in place at the time of the freezing of the assets of Iranian commercial companies and entities.
The court has concluded the United States violated its obligations under […] the treaty of amity, presiding judge Krill Georgian said residing @ the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.
He added that Iran was entitled to compensation and the parties had 24 months to agree on a figure and if that did not work, the court would start new proceedings to determine the amount to be paid.
The rulings of the ICJ, the United Nations’ top court, are binding, but it has no means of enforcing them. The United States and Iran are among a handful of countries to have disregarded its decisions in the past.
Sott Network Company / ABC Flash-Point News 2023.