Iran fights US appropriation of $1.7 billion
The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has filed an appeal against a US court ruling to turn over Iranian funds worth $1.75 billion to alleged families of the victims of the 1983 bombing in Beirut.
The US Supreme Court says it has agreed to consider the appeal by the CBI which contends the ruling violates a 1955 US-Iran treaty.
The money, currently held in a trust account in New York, was ruled by the city’s court of appeals in 2014 to be handed over to the families of the victims. They accuse Iran of providing material support to carry out the attack which killed 241 US troops.
Iran denies the accusations. The country also says the ruling violates a treaty between the US and Iran which bans expropriation of one country’s properties in the territory of the other.
The legal battle comes at a delicate time as Iran and the United States seek to implement an accord signed in July to put their nuclear differences to rest.
The Obama government has urged the high court not to take up the case.
The US Congress has waded into the dispute, passing a law in 2012 to implement the court ruling. The tribunal must now decide whether the chambers have violated the US Constitution by dictating the outcome of a court case.