PHOTO: Judiciary head Sadegh Larijani “Americans stabbed us in the back”


Iran’s officials are continuing a campaign against last week’s US Supreme Court ruling, which allows families of the victims of terrorist attacks to sue for up to $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets.

Tehran immediately derided the decision, adding to the Supreme Leader’s claims that the US is undermining the July 2015 nuclear deal by maintaining sanctions and refusing to return the Islamic Republic’s assets.

The Rouhani Government had hailed January’s implementation of the deal as a “historic” development allowing Iran to pursue economy. However, that declaration has been knocked back by Ayatollah Khamenei, who said that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Agreement should not be followed by a “JCPOA 2, 3, or 4”.

Yesterday judiciary head Sadegh Amoli Larijani declared that “the Americans extended their hands and then stabbed us in the back”.

First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri pledged that Iran will use “every legal tool it has” to retrieve the assets. However, this was not enough for some critics of the Government: Amir Khojasteh, the head of Parliament’s Councils and Internal Affairs Commission, said those who trusted the US in the nuclear negotiations “must now admit that Westerners are untrustworthy”.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded with the annoucement that the Government will form a special committee to review the situation.

He said at a press conference with his visiting Macedonian counterpart:

We have declared that we don’t recognize the US court’s verdict and consider it illegal, because it contradicts international law….

Should Iranian assets be plundered by the US administration, Iran will file a complaint with the International Court of Justice for restitution and demand compensation.

In an interesting twist, Government officials turned criticism onto their predecessors under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying that their “impudence” had let to the Supreme Court’s ruling.

(h/t to Iran Tracker for translations)

4 Reformist Journalists Given Sentences of 5 to 10 Years

Four reformist journalists have been given sentences of 5 to 10 years amid a crackdown led by the Revolutionary Guards.

The four were arrested in November and prosecuted amid a wave of detentions of journalists, artists, and activists. They were prosecuted despite criticism by President Rouhani and convicted on charges of acting against national security.

Davood Asadi was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Ehsan Mazandarani, the managing editor of the Farhikhtegan newspaper,received seven years. Afarin Chitsaz, a foreign policy editorial writer for the Iran newspaper, and Saman Safarzaei, a member of the editorial board of the monthly Andisheh Pouya, were given five-year terms.