The United Nation’s top court on Thursday rejected Tehran’s legal bid to free up some €1.83 billion in Iranian central bank assets frozen by US authorities to be paid in compensation to victims of a 1983 bombing in Lebanon and other attacks linked to Iran, Euronews reports.
In a 10-5 majority ruling, the International Court of Justice said it did not have jurisdiction to rule on the Iranian claim linked to the central Markazi Bank.
The world court's vice-president, Kirill Gevorgian, said the majority “upholds the objection to jurisdiction raised by the United States of America relating to the claims of the Islamic Republic of Iran” linked to the bank.
In a complex, 67-page judgment, the world court also found that some other bids to seize Iranian assets breached the 1955 Treaty of Amity between the countries and said they should negotiate compensation because the protections it offers do not extend to central banks.
If they fail to reach a number, they will have to return to the Hague-based court for a ruling.
But the largest part of the case focused on the Markazi bank, and its frozen bonds worth €1.6 billion, plus accumulated interest, that are held in a Citibank account in New York.
Some in Washington and Tehran voiced satisfaction at Thursday's decision.
Washington's deputy state department spokesman, Vedant Patel, said that while the US was disappointed with some aspects of the ruling it was pleased on the whole.
“Broadly we believe that today’s decision is a major blow to Iran’s case,” Patel told journalists.
An Iranian foreign ministry statement reportedly lauded the decision as “an indication of the strength and reliability of (Iran’s) demand".