Iran appeals UN’s top court to recover $2 billion frozen in US


Iran has filed a formal complaint with the International Court of Justice to recover nearly $2 billion in assets frozen in the United States, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday. In its filing to the International Court of Justice based in The Hague yesterday, Tehran argues that “Iran and Iranian state-owned companies are entitled to immunity from the jurisdiction of the US courts”, the tribunal said in a statement.

The US Supreme Court ruled in April that Iran must hand over nearly USD 2 billion in frozen assets to survivors and relatives of those killed in attacks blamed on the Islamic republic. These included the 1983 bombing of a US Marine barracks in Beirut and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia. The decision affects more than 1,000 Americans. Iran has denied any role in the attacks and rejected the court ruling, calling it theft.

Iran's claim says the U.S. legal proceedings violate a 1955 "treaty of amity" between the two countries that covers economic relations and consular rights. It has called on the United States to make full reparations to Tehran for violating its "legal obligations."

More than 1,000 Americans have joined a suit blaming Iran for providing material support to Hezbollah, the Shi'ite Islamic military group behind the Beirut bombing and the bombing of Saudi Arabia's Khobar Towers in 1996. The plaintiffs include people whose family members were killed in the attacks, as well as people who were injured.