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Iran Summons Envoy over $2 Billion U.S. Court Ruling | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A general view of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant, built by Russia, October 26, 2010. REUTERS/IRNA/Mohammad Babaie

Iran summoned on Tuesday the Swiss ambassador, who manages U.S. interests in Tehran, to condemn a Supreme Court ruling that found the Islamic Republic guilty of several attacks and ordered that almost $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets be turned over to U.S. families of those killed in attacks blamed on Tehran.

The ruling would impact, among others, the families of 241 U.S. soldiers killed in truck bomb attacks on a U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in October 1983.

Iran denounced the ruling, which it considered as theft, while on Monday that it would seek to take the United States to the International Court of Justice at The Hague to prevent the distribution of the money.

“Iran’s strong objection over the ruling was conveyed during the meeting between Iranian official and the Swiss envoy. Iranian official underlined that the ruling was against international laws and bilateral agreements,” the semi-official ILNA news agency quoted Foreign Ministry as saying.

The Swiss embassy embodies U.S. interests in Iran, because Washington has not had a mission there since hardline Iranian students seized American embassy shortly after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

The U.S. Supreme Court found that Congress had not usurped the authority of the courts by passing a law in 2012 stating that the frozen funds should go toward satisfying a $2.65 billion judgment against Iran won by the families in a U.S. federal court in 2007.

President Hassan Rouhani’s hardline critics say the ruling proves the United Sates’ unrelenting hostility towards Iran, despite a momentous nuclear deal reached between Tehran and six major powers last year.

Moderate allies of Rouhani look forward to developing ties between Tehran and Washington, following the nuclear deal and lifting of sanctions in January in exchange for the curbing of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s top authority, however, has ruled out possibility of stabilization of Iran-U.S. relations.