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Iran MPs want US to pay damages for ‘hostile action’

It cites "material or moral damage" caused by the US during the coup against nationalist leader Mohammad Mossadegh (1953), in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988).

By: AFP | May 17, 2016 3:41:45 pm
Iran, Iran US, US Iran, Iran US relations, Iran US news Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, top center, reviews army troops marching during a parade marking National Army Day in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 17, 2016. Rouhani vowed to defend Muslim countries against terrorism and Israel while insisting that its neighbors should not feel threatened. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Iran’s parliament on Wednesday voted through a law obliging the government to demand damages from the United States for 63 years of “hostile action and crimes”, state television reported. “The government has the duty to take the necessary measures seeking compensation for material and moral damages caused by the United States” to the country and Iranians over the past 63 years, the text reads.

It cites “material or moral damage” caused by the US during the coup against nationalist leader Mohammad Mossadegh (1953), in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), in the destruction of oil platforms in the Gulf and in espionage against the Islamic republic.

Parliament did not specify a sum, but Vice President Majid Ansari said during the debate that “Iranian courts have already ruled that the US pay USD 50 billion in damages for its hostile actions” towards the country. The law was passed by the conservative-dominated outgoing parliament in response to a US Supreme Court decision last month.

On April 20, the US body ruled that Iran must hand nearly USD 2 billion in frozen central bank assets to the survivors and relatives of those killed in attacks it has been accused of organising. These attacks include the 1983 bombing of a US Marine barracks in Beirut and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.

The ruling affects around 1,000 Americans. On May 10, President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran was preparing international legal action to recover the nearly USD 2 billion in frozen assets. “We will not allow the United States to swallow this money so easily,” he told a crowd of thousands in the southeastern city of Kerman.

The Iranian funds are frozen in New York. Iranian officials have complained that the United States is not doing enough to encourage investment in Iran, despite the landmark nuclear accord with world powers that resulted in sanctions being lifted.

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