February 13, 2019
Today the International Court of Justice has made a preliminary ruling in Certain Iranian Assets, rejecting many of Iran’s baseless claims and significantly narrowing what remains. This is a significant victory for the United States. Certain Iranian Assets is yet another case in which the Iranian regime seeks to misuse legal process and distort principles of international law. This time, Iran’s goal is to prevent United States victims of the Iranian regime’s wanton acts of terrorism over decades, including families of U.S. peacekeepers who died in the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983, from recovering compensation from Iran in U.S. courts.
While we disagree that the Court should allow any of Iran’s claims to go forward, we are pleased that today the Court saw through Iran’s effort to distort the 1955 Treaty of Amity and rejected Iran’s core arguments. As we have made clear, the 1955 Treaty of Amity was never intended to provide cover for Iran’s bad acts. Iran must not be permitted to continue to misuse the International Court of Justice’s judicial process for political and propaganda purposes.
The United States will continue vigorously to support victims of terrorism and resist Iran’s efforts to prevent their lawful recoveries. We stand with those who seek to hold Iran accountable and will continue efforts to increase the pressure on the Iranian regime. We hope that Iran’s leaders will come to recognize that the only way to ensure a positive future for their country is by ceasing their campaign of terror and destruction around the world.