Iran announced it is suing the U.S. in the International Court of Justice because of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to grant approximately $2 billion in Iranian assets to American families impacted by alleged Iranian-organized terror attacks.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he intends to pursue the case until the assets are designated to Iran.
"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 on Wednesday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.
According to officials from Iran, this allocation of assets violates a 1955 treaty. As a result, the assets were not subject to be redistributed.
"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.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned after the Supreme Court ruling was issued in April that Iran would initiate legal action concerning the assets. Additionally, he was quoted saying last month Iran doesn't acknowledge the ruling.
Zarif also announced a special commission will be created to evaluate the U.S. decision to freeze the assets and distribute them to Americans.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. is aware of the situation and is determining how best to proceed.
"As we have said before, we believe that the United States has acted consistent with its obligations under international law," State Department spokesman John Kirby said.
The U.S. hasn't recognized the International Court since 1986. As a result, the jurisdiction of the International Court is ambiguous and it's not clear whether the U.S. will accept the case.
The U.S. Congress passed legislation in 2012 permitting Citibank to transfer the Iranian assets to the American families. In response, Iran claimed Congress is invading the federal courts' business.
The assets are going toward American victims of the 1983 Beirut bombings, which took the lives of 241 American military personnel and were linked to Iran. Iran has refused to take responsibility for the attacks.