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Iran seeks UN document over US assets freeze

7 May 2016 21:47



Iran has called on the UN to document a statement by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in condemnation of a US court ruling over the seizure of frozen Iranian assets.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshroo called on the world body to circulate the NAM statement as a document of the General Assembly and the Security Council.

The Iranian envoy also criticized the United States for defying international law by seeking to seize Iranian frozen funds.

On April 20, the US Supreme Court ruled that about USD 2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be turned over to American families of people killed in the 1983 bombing of a US Marine Corps barracks in the Lebanese capital of Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran. Tehran has long rejected allegations of involvement in the 1983 Beirut bombing.

The money confiscated under the US court ruling belongs to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The assets have been blocked under US sanctions.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Non-Aligned Movement described the US ruling as a violation of both the international law and Washington’s international and treaty obligations concerning the immunity of jurisdiction.

The 120-member movement warned that Washington’s failure to adhere to the principle of the immunity of jurisdiction will have “adverse implications, including uncertainty and chaos in international relations.”

It also criticized the US Congress for paving the way for illegal confiscation of foreign assets, and actions by the Washington government to unlawfully hold them.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday that the NAM letter is being studied.

On April 28, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote a letter to the UN chief, saying Tehran reserves the right to take countermeasures in response to the decision made by the US court.

The Iranian Cabinet has also tasked a working group with closely examining different aspects of the US court ruling and offering proposals for the restoration of the Iranian government’s rights.

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