The Hague, 31 March 2023 (TDI): The International Court of Justice, ICJ ordered the United States (US), to pay compensation to Iranian companies after ruling that Washington illegally allowed courts to freeze their assets.

ICJ which is also known as the World Court, had not specified the amount that needed to be paid when the US froze and sealed assets from Iran’s central bank, however, Iran claimed a large amount in compensation.

ICJ would determine the compensation amount later on. Though ICJ said that Iran did not have jurisdiction over $1.75bn in frozen assets from Iran’s central bank held in a Citibank account in New York.

Kirill Gevorgian, the ICJ Vice-President 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.”

The US argued in court that Iran used these frozen assets for sponsoring terrorists’ activities, such as money to be given in compensation to victims of a 1983 bombing in Lebanon and also linked to other attacks sponsored by Iran.

ICJ dismissed the argument and ruled that the treaty that was signed in 1955 between US and Iran was before the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Thus, the money and the assets have not been utilized for any terrorist activity.

However, the US violated this treaty in 2018, after withdrawing from it because the US toppled the government of Reza Shah Pahlavi, and also severed relations after the statement Islamic government.

Thus, the US has no jurisdiction to freeze the assets worth of $1.75bn of Iran’s central bank – known as the Bank Markazi.

“The verdict of the International Court of Justice handed down on March 30 shows once again the legitimacy” of Iran’s positions “and the illegal behavior of the United States,” stated Tehran’s Foreign Ministry.

On the other hand, the US said the ruling was a “major victory,” “the court’s decision today rejected the vast majority of Iran’s case, including notably Iran’s claims on behalf of Bank Markazi,” said Richard Visek, acting legal adviser of the US Department of State.

“This is a major victory for the United States and victims of Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism,” said Visek. Iran filed a case in 2016 against Washington in 2016 for the breach Friendship Treaty of 1955.