Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif. (AP/Virginia Mayo) (AP/Virginia Mayo)
Mohammad Jawad Zarif

Iran asked the United Nations on Thursday to intervene with the US government over a Supreme Court ruling that allows nearly $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets to be paid to victims of terrorist attacks for which the Islamic Republic has been blamed.

In a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javid Zarif argues that the US court decision will have “catastrophic implications” and “will cause systematic erosion” of the principal of state immunity.

“I wish to call on Your Excellency to lend your good offices in order to induce the US Government to adhere to its international obligations, put an end to the violation of the fundamental principle of state immunity,” the letter reads in part.

The Secretary General’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the letter.

The US Supreme Court ruled last week that the families of victims of a 1983 bombing in Lebanon and other attacks linked to Iran can collect nearly $2 billion in frozen funds from Iran as compensation.

The US court’s ruling directly affects more than 1,300 relatives of victims, some who have been seeking compensation for more than 30 years. They include families of the 241 US service members who died in the Beirut bombing.

Iran denies any links to the attacks.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. (AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

“The Islamic Republic of Iran holds the United States Government responsible for this outrageous robbery, disguised under a court order, and is determined to take every lawful measure to restore the stolen property and the interest accrued to it from the date it was blocked by the United States,” the letter stated, adding that US should instead pay Iran reparations over the downing of Iranian airliner in 1988.

Iran’s president said Wednesday that the court ruling amounts to theft and indicates continued “hostility” toward his country.

Rouhani was quoted by state TV as warning that the United States would have to face up to “all the consequences of this illegal action,” without elaborating.

“The move indicates Washington’s continued hostility against the Iranian nation,” Rouhani added, speaking during a Cabinet meeting.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet tasked a group of top officials with examining the court decision and defending Iran’s “rights.”

By: AP

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