Head of the Strategic Research Center of Iran’s Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Velayati, criticized the US decision to seize nearly $2bn of the Central Bank of Iran’s assets in an American bank, describing the move as an indication of Washington’s “bullying” approach.
“The US government’s move to seize $2 billion of Iran’s blocked assets is totally condemned,” Velayati, who is also a top adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, told Tasnim.
“It is indicative of the bullying approach of the Americans and their hypocrisy in the international arena,” he added.
Velayati further denounced Washington’s duplicity in talks with Tehran and US delegations’ anti-Iran remarks in meetings with some of their allies in the region.
On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court upheld the Congress and President Barack Obama’s actions to hold Iran financially responsible for the 1983 bombing that killed 241 Marines at their barracks in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
The ruling allows the families of the Marines and victims of other attacks that courts have linked to Iran to seize some $2 billion in assets held in New York’s Citibank, belonging to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), which had been blocked under US sanctions.
In 2012, the US Congress passed a law that specifically directed the American banks to turn over the Iranian assets to victims’ families. Obama also entered the battle in an effort to force the payments on Iran.