Oct 11, 2018 07:19 Asia/Tehran
  • Italy court annuls American petition against Iran

Rome's appeal court annulled the American plaintiffs' petition for seizing nearly 5 billion dollars of assets of Iran's Central Bank (CBI).

Iran Press/Europe: Mohsen Mohebi, head of the Center for International Legal Affairs of the Iranian Presidential Office (CILA) said on Wednesday that the Rome's appeal court annulled a petition, worth nearly 5 billion dollars presented by a number of American plaintiffs to seize the assets of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), the Iranian government's official website Dolat.ir, reported.

The Italian court's order for seizure of CBI assets was annulled due to the legal proceedings initiated by CILA and CBI lawyers in Italy, he noted.

Mohebi also said that on June 2018, the Rome's court ordered seizure of CBI assets, just based on American plaintiffs' petition and Italian law.

International Court of Justice (ICJ) started hearing Iran’s complaint against US on Monday, 8 October. Commenting on the second day of hearing Mohsen Mohebi said: "Iran's complaint against the United States concerns a breach of the Iran-US "Treaty of Amity" and the seizure of 2 billion dollars worth of assets belonging to Central Bank of Iran. As part of its defense, the US has accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism, but has failed to provide any evidence to back up its claim, and the accusation has no firm legal  basis, and has never been proven."

Mohebi added: "US conduct towards Iranian companies and institutions, particularly Iran's Central Bank (CBI) is in clear violation of 1955 "Treaty of Amity" between Iran and United States. At the moment US court rulings have led to further legal action against Iran in Britain, Canada and Luxembourg. The US will have three hours on Thursday 11 October at the ICJ to respond to issues raised by the Iranian side and to present its case to the ICJ. Also Iran will have three hours on Friday 12 October to respond to issues raised by the US, and to present its case to the International Court of Justice".

It is also worth noting that a week ago, ICJ ordered the US to lift its sanctions against Tehran, based on 1955 "Treaty of Amity" between Iran and United States.

Humiliated after that defeat, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would be scrapping the 1955 treaty.

Related: Top UN court orders US to lift Iran sanctions

National Security Adviser John Bolton also said the US would no longer be recognizing the jurisdiction of the UN court and would be withdrawing from the Optional Protocol and Dispute Resolution of the 1961 Vienna Convention, which established the ICJ.

Despite the assertions by Pompeo and Bolton, America has sent a legal team to the ICJ for the new hearings.

Court hearings started with "Preliminary Objections" by the US, which seeks to argue that the ICJ does not have the jurisdiction to take up the case.

Iran filed a complaint with the ICJ — the principal judicial organ of the United Nations — on June 14, 2016 over the freezing of billions of dollars in its assets either inside or outside of America under US court rulings.

The latest instance of such rulings occurred on April 20, 2016, when the US Supreme Court upheld an earlier verdict by a lower district court to turn over approximately 1.75 billion dollars in frozen Iranian assets to victims of "terrorism."

Judges at the ICJ handed a victory to Tehran in early October which had asked the International Court in The Hague to order US to lift sanctions ordered by the Trump administration against Tehran.

Tehran filed its case before the International Court of Justice in late July, calling on The Hague-based tribunal's judges to order the immediate lifting of sanctions, which Tehran said would cause "irreparable prejudice" and affect imports of humanitarian goods and products and services linked to the safety of civil aviation.

On May 8, US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached between Tehran and the world powers in 2015.

Washington has since told countries they must stop buying the OPEC producer's oil from November 4 or face financial consequences.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

Donald Trump’s decision to scrap the nuclear deal was sharply criticised by other signatories of the deal, who have pledged to uphold their side of the agreement.

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