THE Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), also known as Bank Markazi, says the country has won a legal battle in Europe to dismiss a US attempt to have Iranian funds blocked and handed over to Washington for compensating the so-called victims of terror.
Abdolnasser Hemmati said on Wednesday that courts in Luxembourg had taken Iran’s side in a dispute over $1.6 billion worth of Iranian funds hold by Clearstream, a securities depository, which Washington had sought to block and confiscate.
‘Through Bank Markazi’s legal follow-up, the US attempt to have CBI’s funds in Europe confiscated and transferred was nullified,’ said Hemmati.
The CBI governor said that Iran had first won a legal case to have the funds in Luxembourg unblocked and then a second court in the small European country issued a temporary verdict to prevent the transfer of the Iranian funds to the United States.
Other courts in Europe have previously dismissed claims brought by American plaintiffs to seize CBI assets to pay for damages suffered over September 11, 2001 attacks.
An Iranian government spokesman says funds blocked abroad because of US sanctions are being released.
Iran totally denies charges related to any involvement in the 9/11 attacks and insists they are politically motivated.
The US government has ramped up its support for claims on Iranian assets in other parts of the world since Washington withdrew from an international nuclear deal with Iran and imposed a series of harsh sanctions on the country in November 2018.
Even courts in the United States have dismissed complaints meant for confiscation of Iranian assets in the country for paying for false claims related to terrorism.
- The US Department of Defence has reportedly supplied 1 million surgical masks to the Israeli regime in order to be distributed among soldiers, despite the fact that the Pentagon has lately introduced a measure requiring personnel to make their own masks to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.
The Israeli English-language Jerusalem Post reported that the masks were procured from China, and a plane carrying the medical stuff intended for Israeli soldiers landed in Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday night.
‘In the past two weeks, we have purchased and flown to Israel tens of thousands of swabs, masks, protective suits for medical staff and more,’ Limor Kolishevsky, head of the New York Purchasing and Logistics Division, said.
‘A million masks, procured in China, were quickly flown to Israel with the intention that the Israeli military will be using them within the next few days,’ he added.
The Jerusalem Post had initially published the article headlined ‘US Department of Defence give 1 million masks to IDF for coronavirus use’ and this is still visible in the article’s hyperlink on Twitter posts.
The newspaper, however, changed the headline shortly afterwards to read, ‘Israel brings 1 million masks from China for IDF soldiers,’ in a possible attempt at downplaying the role of Washington in spite of shortages in protective equipment, including face masks, in the United States.
An Israeli military reporter even published on his Twitter page images of the shipment of masks as they arrived in the occupied lands.
On April 5, American weekly news magazine Newsweek reported that the US military had told its personnel to make their own masks to fight coronavirus.
The protocols, titled ‘Department of Defence Guidance on the Use of Cloth Face Coverings,’ were included in a document released last Sunday by the Pentagon and then seen by the magazine.
- Syria has denounced Israel’s ‘systematic’ violations of human rights of Syrians in the Arab country’s occupied Golan Heights, warning against the expansion of Israeli settlement activities there.
Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Hussam al-Din Ala made the warning last Friday in a letter to the head of the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting Human Rights of Palestinian People and Other Arabs of Occupied Territories.
He also demanded that the UN and the international community pay more attention to the dire situation of the human rights in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, calling for more international condemnation of violations committed by the Tel Aviv regime against the occupied region’s Syrian citizens.
The Syrian ambassador also referred to reports by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the head of the International Labour Organisation that have confirmed the discriminatory practices and unfair restrictions imposed by Israel on Syrians in the occupied Golan Heights.
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognised by the international community.
However, in a highly provocative move on March 25 last year US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognising Israel’s ‘sovereignty’ over the Syrian territory.
Damascus strongly condemned the move and called it a ‘blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity’ of Syria.
Since the onset of the occupation, Tel Aviv has been building dozens of settlements in the region and has used it to carry out a number of military operations against the Arab country.
Israel has named a site in Syria’s occupied Golan Heights after US President Donald Trump, who has illegally recognised it as the Tel Aviv regime’s territory.
The Syrian diplomat also called attention to reports confirming the ‘illegality’ of Israel’s building and expanding settlement blocks and transferring more settlers to the occupied territory.
‘Such practices, as it is known, are prohibited by the international humanitarian law, international human rights law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions,’ Ala stressed.
Elsewhere in his letter, the Syrian diplomat warned about the dangerous consequences of attempts by the Israeli regime in seizing natural resources of the Golan Heights and the property of Syrian citizens there under various pretexts, including its attempts to impose so-called alternative ownership documents and plans to instal wind turbines to generate electricity on lands owned by Syrians.
The residents of Syria’s Golan Heights staged a protest against Israel’s plan to instal wind turbines in the occupied territory.
The UN has time and again stressed Syria’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Back in December 2018, the majority of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution urging the Israeli regime to withdraw from Golan.
The Arab League has warned against attempts by the Israeli regime to annex more Palestinian land as the world is busy fighting a coronavirus pandemic.
- Confirmation of seven new cases of coronavirus in Palestine as well as the recovery of 18 cases in the West Bank was highlighted on the front page of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies today.
Al-Ayyam said that two more cases have recovered in the Gaza Strip bringing the total recovered in Palestine to 20.
It said Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is ready to talk with Hamas through a third party about exchange of prisoners.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida, while also highlighting the corona recovery cases in Ramallah and Bethlehem, made the statement by the Palestinian presidency condemning Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank as its top front page story.
It also highlighted Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh warning about the Israeli annexation plans.
The paper said 60 per cent of the corona cases in Ramallah area came from Palestinian workers in Israel after their return home.
Al-Quds reported on the Israeli army raids and arrest in the West Bank, clashes with Palestinians as well as the kidnapping by Israeli settlers of two Palestinians in the village of Kubar, near Ramallah.
It said in a report quoting ARIJ, a Palestinian Organisation, saying that Israel is taking advantage of the corona outbreak to create dangerous facts on the ground in the occupied territories.
It also quoted rights organisations saying that Israel is responsible for the health of 14 million people between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean, and that Israel’s apartheid system is undermining Palestinian health rights during the corona pandemic.