World NewsUS urges UN court to toss out Iranian frozen assets case

US urges UN court to toss out Iranian frozen assets case

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America on Wednesday urged the Worldwide Court docket of Justice to throw out a case introduced by Iran looking for to claw again round $2 billion value of frozen Iranian property that the U.S. Supreme Court docket awarded to victims of a 1983 bombing in Lebanon and different assaults linked to Tehran.

The chief of the U.S. authorized crew, Richard Visek, advised the U.N. courtroom that it ought to invoke, for the primary time, a authorized precept generally known as “unclean fingers,” underneath which a nation cannot deliver a case due to its personal prison actions linked to the case.

“Iran’s case ought to be dismissed in its entirety based mostly on the precept of unclean fingers,” Visek advised the judges sitting within the courtroom’s Nice Corridor of Justice.

“The essence of this threshold protection is that Iran’s personal egregious conduct, its sponsorship of terrorist acts directed in opposition to the US and U.S. nationals, lies on the very core of its claims,” Visek mentioned.

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The Hague-based courtroom has by no means used the “unclean fingers” protection as a purpose to toss out a case, but it surely has been efficiently cited in worldwide arbitration circumstances, Visek mentioned.

“America submits that if there was ever a case for utility of the precept of unclean fingers — one which we acknowledge ought to be thought of solely in slim circumstances — it’s this case,” Visek mentioned.

Rescue employees sift via the rubble of the U.S. Marine base in Beirut in Oct. 23, 1983 following an enormous bomb blast that destroyed the bottom and killed 241 American servicemen.
(AP Picture, File)

On Monday, Iran mentioned the U.S. asset confiscation was an try to destabilize the Tehran authorities and a violation of worldwide regulation.

Iran took its declare to the world courtroom in 2016 after the U.S. Supreme Court docket dominated that cash held in Iran’s central financial institution may very well be used to compensate the 241 victims of a 1983 bombing — believed to be linked to Tehran — of a U.S. navy base in Lebanon.

The world courtroom dominated it had jurisdiction to listen to the case in 2019, rejecting an argument from the U.S. that its nationwide safety pursuits outdated the 1955 Treaty of Amity, which promised friendship and cooperation between the 2 international locations.

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“The liberty of navigation and commerce assured by the treaty have been gravely breached,” Tavakol Habibzadeh, head of worldwide authorized affairs for Iran, advised the 14-judge panel on Monday.

At stake within the case being heard this week are $1.75 billion in bonds, plus accrued curiosity, belonging to the Iranian state however held in a Citibank account in New York.

Taliban fighters guard at the site of an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, June 18, 2022. Several explosions and gunfire ripped through a Sikh temple in Afghanistan's capital. 

Taliban fighters guard on the web site of an explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, June 18, 2022. A number of explosions and gunfire ripped via a Sikh temple in Afghanistan’s capital. 
(AP Picture/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Visek additionally advised judges that Iran’s claims ought to be rejected as a result of the frozen property are state holdings not lined by the treaty.

In 1983, a truck bomb detonated at a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 American troops. Minutes later, a second blast close by killed 58 French troopers. Iran has denied involvement, however a U.S. District Court docket decide discovered Tehran accountable in 2003. That ruling mentioned Iran’s ambassador to Syria on the time known as “a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and instructed him to instigate the Marine barracks bombing.”

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America terminated the 1955 Treaty of Amity in 2018 in response to an order by the Worldwide Court docket of Justice in a separate case to raise sanctions in opposition to Iran. Then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned withdrawing from the treaty was lengthy overdue and adopted Iran “groundlessly” bringing a criticism to the courtroom alleging that U.S. sanctions have been a violation of the pact.

Each the sanctions case and the asset confiscation case are persevering with as a result of they have been filed earlier than Washington scrapped the treaty.

Demonstrators set fire to a mock U.S. flag during a rally in front of the former U.S. Embassy commemorating the anniversary of its 1979 seizure in Tehran, Iran, on Thursday.

Demonstrators set hearth to a mock U.S. flag throughout a rally in entrance of the previous U.S. Embassy commemorating the anniversary of its 1979 seizure in Tehran, Iran, on Thursday.
(AP/Vahid Salemi)

The 2 international locations have had no diplomatic relations for the reason that 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover by militant college students in Tehran.

Judges are prone to take months to difficulty a ruling within the case. The courtroom’s judgments are closing and legally binding.

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Wednesday’s listening to in The Hague got here on the day that U.S. President Joe Biden and Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi will likely be giving speeches on the second day of the U.N. Normal Meeting ’s first absolutely in-person assembly for the reason that coronavirus pandemic started.

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