MP Urges Foreign Ministry, Judiciary to Pursue Iran’s Frozen Assets
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior lawmaker called on the country’s foreign ministry and judiciary to take proper measures to recoup billions of dollars in frozen overseas assets.
“In order to reclaim the lost rights of the country, the international law department of the judiciary and the legal affairs office of the foreign ministry need to have a strong presence in the international arenas so that Iran could get back its rights and assets through legal channels,” Hossein Naqavi Hosseini told the Tasnim News Agency on Sunday.
The parliament member said that the country's previous parliaments had established a committee and tasked it to pursue the nation’s rights and assets at the international arenas.
Focusing on the rights to be followed up at international legal circles, he referred to a garden in northern Tehran that has been used by the British embassy for decades, called Baq-e Qolhak, against both the Iranian and international laws.
The lawmaker also urged the relevant organs to seriously pursue reparations for the damage inflicted by the eight-year Iraqi-imposed war on Iran in the 1980s.
The Baathist regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was identified by the United Nations as the initiator of the war and consequently was required to pay war damages to the Islamic Republic according to Article 6 of UN Resolution 598.
Iran has tabled reparations claims against Iraq of up to $100 billion for the 1980-88 war, which was approved in principle by the then UN Secretary General, Javier Perez de Cuellar, in 1990. Some Iranian officials say the damage the country sustained as the result of the imposed war amounts to one trillion dollars.
In December 2003, the head of Iraq's Interim Governing Council said Iran should be paid reparations for the war that Saddam Hussein waged against it in the 1980s.
Abdul Aziz al-Hakim said further discussion was needed to decide what if anything Iraq would pay itself.
While Iran has not received any damages from Iraq, Kuwait has so far received $43.5 billion in reparations payments for Saddam Hussain’s 1990 invasion of the tiny country.
Baghdad pays 5% of its oil and gas revenue into a special UN fund that pays the compensation.
At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union passed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran that collects revenue from oil sales. The sanctions came into force in early summer 2012.
Recently, there has been talk of a plan that would allow Iran to recover billions of dollars in frozen overseas assets in the US, which some put at between $50 to $75 billion, if it takes steps to scale back its nuclear program.
Most of Iran's frozen assets are in the US and have been classified as such in different stages since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. There are Iran's blocked assets in some other countries as well, most of them were denominated so after the banking sanction came into effect against Iran in 2012.