Iran seeks UN in­ter­ven­tion with US af­ter court rul­ing

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

UNITED NA­TIONS— Iran asked UN chief Ban Ki- moon on Fri­day to con­vince the United States to stop vi­o­lat­ing state im­mu­nity af­ter the top US court ruled that $ 2 bil­lion in frozen Ira­nian as­sets must be paid to Amer­i­can vic­tims of at­tacks blamed on Tehran.

Iran’s For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif wrote to Ban a week af­ter the US Supreme Court rul­ing, call­ing on the Sec­re­tary­Gen­eral to use his “good of­fices in or­der to in­duce the US Gov­ern­ment to ad­here to its in­ter­na­tional obli­ga­tions.”

Zarif’s ap­peal comes amid in­creas­ing Ira­nian frus­tra­tion at what they say is the fail­ure of the United States to keep its prom­ises re­gard­ing sanc­tions re­lief agreed un­der an his­toric nu­clear deal struck last year by Tehran and six world pow­ers.

In the let­ter, re­leased by the Ira­nian UN mis­sion, Zarif asked Ban to help se­cure the re­lease of frozen Ira­nian as­sets in US banks and per­suade Washington to stop in­ter­fer­ing with Iran’s in­ter­na­tional com­mer­cial and fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions.

“The US Ex­ec­u­tive branch il­le­gally freezes Ira­nian na­tional as­sets; the US Leg­isla­tive branch leg­is­lates to pave the ground for their il­licit seizures; and the US Ju­di­cial branch is­sues rul­ings to con­fis­cate Ira­nian as­sets with­out any base in law or fact,” Zarif said.

Supreme Leader Ay­a­tol­lah Ali Khamenei’s top ad­viser Ali Ak­bar Ve­lay­ati was quoted by Ira­nian state me­dia as say­ing that “Iran will never aban­don its right and will take any nec­es­sary ac­tion to stop such an in­ter­na­tional theft.”

“This money be­longs to Iran,” he said. Ban’s spokesman and the US mis­sion to the United Na­tions did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment on the let­ter or the ac­cu­sa­tions made against the United States. Zarif told Ban he wanted to “alert you and through you the UN gen­eral mem­ber­ship about the cat­a­strophic im­pli­ca­tions of the US bla­tant dis­re­spect for state im­mu­nity, which will cause sys­tem­atic ero­sion of this fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple.”

The US Supreme Court found that the US Con­gress did not usurp the au­thor­ity of Amer­i­can courts by pass­ing a 2012 law stat­ing that Iran’s frozen funds should go to­ward sat­is­fy­ing a $ 2.65 bil­lion judg­ment won by the US fam­i­lies against Iran in US fed­eral court in 2007.

“It is in fact the United States that must pay long over­due repa­ra­tions to the Ira­nian peo­ple for its per­sis­tent hos­tile poli­cies,” Zarif wrote, cit­ing in­ci­dents in­clud­ing the shoot­ing of an Ira­nian civil air­liner in 1988.

Last week Zarif met sev­eral times with US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry in New York to dis­cuss Ira­nian prob­lems ac­cess­ing in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial mar­kets.

Tehran has called on the United States to do more to re­move obstacles to the bank­ing sec­tor so that busi­nesses feel com­fort­able in­vest­ing in Iran with­out fear of penal­ties..— Agen­cies

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