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Iran Launches Legal Battle to Free Billions Stolen By US

Iran Launches Legal Battle to Free Billions Stolen By US
folder_openAsia-Pacific... access_time 9 days ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Monday marks the beginning of the Islamic Republic of Iran's legal struggle before the UN's highest court to unfreeze billions of dollars in US assets.

The appeal before the International Court of Justice comes as expectations of renewing a landmark agreement – from which former US President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 – dwindle.

Tehran petitioned the International Court of Justice [ICJ] in 2016 after the US Supreme Court ordered the freezing of $2 billion in Iranian assets over unfounded, trumped-up accusations.

Iran, on the other hand, argued that the freezing of assets violated the 1955 Treaty of Amity with the United States.

Tehran accuses the US of usurping Iranian financial assets and those of Iranian firms, and with Iran overburdened with economic difficulties as a result of sanctions and skyrocketing consumer costs, it is critical for the country to retrieve its financial rights.

Washington has attempted unsuccessfully to invalidate the lawsuit by claiming that Iran's "unclean hands" should disqualify its lawsuit to reclaim the $2 billion in assets.

Earlier in July, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and chief negotiator Ali Baqeri-Kani stressed that South Korea must immediately free the frozen Iranian assets that have been blocked there for years, highlighting the importance of Tehran gaining access to its blocked funds.

"The Iranian gov't and people expect the new administration to immediately unfreeze our assets to provide a basis for improving bilateral ties," Baqeri-Kani told First South Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Hyun-dong in a phone call.

Iran has frozen funds and assets in several countries, including South Korea, but the latter has been closely working with Washington and waiting for a permit from there to repay its debt to the Islamic Republic.

South Korea and other US allies continue to follow US dictations of suspending trade with the Islamic Republic and refusing to pay their debts to Iran, which are largely for oil.

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