Ayatollah Amoli Larijani asks US to free Iranian citizens

Ayatollah Amoli Larijani asks US to free Iranian citizens

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Iran's Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani urged the US to immediately release the Iranian nationals who have been imprisoned in the country, calling on Washington to stay away from Iran's assets and properties.

"We ask them to immediately free the Iranian citizens jailed in the US who have been kept in prison for baseless accusations and against the international rules," Amoli Larijani said, addressing judiciary officials in Tehran on Monday.

Addressing the US officials, he said, "You have also confiscated the Islamic Republic of Iran's assets in violation of the (legal) standards and in open robbery."

Amoli Larijani called on the US to release Iran's assets, saying, "Our country should have access to its properties and this should be done immediately."

In 2012, the US Congress passed a law that specifically directed the US-based Citibank to turn over the Iranian assets to families of the victims of the Beirut bombing.

Iran argues that the Congress is intruding into the business of federal courts over the case. Tehran has long rejected allegations of involvement in the 1983 Beirut bombing.

Also, US Supreme Court 2016 ruled that almost $2bn in frozen Iranian assets must be turned over to American families of people killed in the 1983 bombing of a US Marine Corps barracks in the Lebanese capital of Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced at the time that Tehran has lodged a complaint with the International Court of Justice in the Hague against the court ruling by the US Supreme Court which authorized the transfer of $2 billion of Tehran's frozen assets to the families of the victims of a 1983 bombing in Beirut.

"The US 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.

"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," he added.

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