Today the International Court of Justice issued a judgment in the Certain Iranian Assets case rejecting the vast majority of Iran’s case under the now-terminated Treaty of Amity. This is a major victory for the United States and victims of Iran’s State-sponsored terrorism.
Iran sought to use the Treaty to challenge payments to U.S. victims of Iran-sponsored terrorism who obtained U.S. court judgments against Iran. The decision today is a significant blow to Iran’s attempt to avoid its responsibility, in particular to the families of U.S. peacekeepers who were killed in the 1983 bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut.
The United States recognizes the Court’s important role and contributions to the rule of law. And the United States commends the Court’s ruling related to Bank Markazi. We are disappointed that the Court has concluded that the turnover of assets of other Iranian agencies and instrumentalities to U.S. victims of Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism was inconsistent with the Treaty. U.S. courts directed the turnover of assets to victims pursuant to U.S. laws that have helped those and other victims of State-sponsored terrorism receive compensation for the grave losses that they and their families have suffered. As the United States made clear in its arguments to the Court, the Treaty was never intended to shield Iran from having to compensate U.S. victims of its sponsorship of terrorism.
The Court’s decision was clear that it will have no impact on the U.S. laws that allow U.S. victims of terrorism to seek compensation from Iran or any other State sponsor of terrorism in U.S. courts going forward, in light of the Treaty’s termination.
The United States continues to strongly support victims of terrorism, and we stand with those who seek to hold Iran and all State sponsors of terrorism accountable.