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Rouhani Slams Washington, Khamenei Threatens to Burn Nuclear Deal | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. REUTERS

London-Iran has appealed to the U.N.’s highest court against a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be paid to American victims of terror attacks blamed on Tehran, the tribunal said Wednesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in April that Iran must hand over nearly $2 billion in frozen assets to survivors and relatives of those killed in attacks blamed on the Islamic republic.

These included the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.

Tehran, which signed a landmark nuclear deal last year with world powers leading to the unblocking of other frozen funds, has reacted angrily to the Supreme Court ruling.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced late Wednesday that “Iran has officially lodged a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and we will pursue our case until we get a result.

“The American courts have illegally decided that these funds must be given to Americans and the families of victims killed in Lebanon,” he said.

“It remains unclear what these Americans were doing in Lebanon, and how this affair concerns Iran.”

For his part, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Ted Cruz against questioning the Islamic republic’s nuclear deal.

“The Islamic Republic won’t be the first to violate the nuclear deal. Staying faithful to a promise is a Qur’anic order,” Khamenei said.

“But if the threat from the American presidential candidates to tear up the deal becomes operational then the Islamic Republic will set fire to the deal.”

Khamenei noted that sanctions had not been completely lifted, issues with Iranian banks had not been resolved and that Iranian money that was being kept in other countries had not been returned.

“The nuclear deal has holes which, if they were closed, would reduce or cancel its disadvantages,” he said.

He added: “Some think that we can get along with the Americans and solve our problems. This is an incorrect idea and a delusion.”

The Supreme Leader also told the officials, who had gathered for a meeting to commemorate the holy month of Ramadan, that the issue of insurance for oil tankers had not been resolved.

Earlier, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged the United States to do more to encourage banks to do business with Iran.