Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Legal official: ICJ vote against anti-Iran sanctions binding; US must pay damages

An Iranian legal official says a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), known as the World Court, against US sanctions on Iran is binding, and that Washington is bound by international law to compensate for the relevant losses inflicted on the Islamic Republic.

Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, a legal expert who sits on Iran’s Constitutional Council, also known as the Guardian Council, said the ICJ decisions “are binding for the governments, and that they are obliged to implement them.”

“At a time when the Islamic Republic of Iran filed the lawsuit (against sanctions), the American government claimed that the court lacked jurisdiction, which was rejected,” he added.

In a verdict issued, the Hague-based tribunal said the US violated international law by freezing some Iranian assets, ordering Washington to pay compensation for an amount to be determined in the future.

The ICJ case started in 2016 with Iran saying the US broke a 1955 friendship treaty by allowing US courts to freeze Iranian companies’ assets. The US said the money was to be given in compensation to victims of what it called Iran-linked “terrorist attacks.”

Washington told the court that its move was justified based on Iran’s “sponsoring of terrorism”, a defense that the ICJ dismissed, ruling that the decades-old treaty was still valid.

Kadkhodaei added that “the vote is one of the many that condemned America’s actions and finds America guilty of violating international obligations, and this phrase is very clear in international legal literature.”

“America, after violating international obligations and also violating numerous clauses of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, is responsible to pay compensation. Determining the amount of damages and the compensation is the responsibility of the two governments, and if they fail to reach an agreement, the court itself can determine it at the request of one of the parties,” he explained.

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