Iran is claiming that it has sued the United States for $60 billion in response to efforts by the American government to seize the Islamic Republic's assets as a result of terror attacks that have killed Americans and others.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, a chief negotiator of the landmark nuclear agreement, claimed on Wednesday that the Iranian judiciary has issued rulings for the United States to pay the country at least $60 billion over the dispute.
Similar legal complaints by Iran against the United States have been filed with the International Criminal Court, which has longstanding jurisdiction to adjudicate several pending cases between the United States and Iran.
The Obama administration, late in President Obama's second term, reached a multi-million dollar settlement with Iran to avoid resolving at the ICC long-standing disputes over past arms deal that went awry following the Islamic Republic's 1979 revolution that brought in the country's hardline government.
"So far court verdicts have been issued in the U.S. against Iran to pay a sum of $60bln and similar rulings have been issued in Iran against the US to pay a similar sum," Zarif was quoted as saying in Iran's state-controlled press.
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued judgments in the past permitting the United States to seize Iranian assets as a result of its past terror attacks and other activities against America.
Zarif said these rulings led the Islamic Republic to counter-sue the United States in its own court system.
"Two years ago, the final ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court led to the seizure of the Islamic Republic of Iran's properties that belonged to the ninth administration [of former Iranian President Ahmadinejad) in one of the US banks," Zarif said before the country's Parliament." The Islamic Republic then approved a reciprocal law to entitle the Iranian citizens to file a lawsuit with the Iranian courts against the US criminal acts."
The State Department declined to comment on the situation when contacted by the Washington Free Beacon, saying, "We are not going to comment on every statement by an Iranian official."
Last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani disclosed that Iran had filed a complaint with the ICC over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to award Iranian assets to the victims and families of Iranian terror attacks.
"The U.S. courts have issued illegal rulings and said that the properties should be provided to the Americans and the families of those people killed in Lebanon and it is not clear what the Americans did in Lebanon (at the time) and how the issue is related to Iran," Rouhani said at the time.
"We shouldn't remain silent vis a vis this event and we officially filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice yesterday and will pursue the case until attaining results," Rouhani said.