By Arash Karami, for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.
After the US Supreme Court ruled April 20 that families of victims of a 1983 terrorist attack in Beirut are allowed access to $2 billion of funds belonging to Iran in a New York bank, officials from the administration of President Hassan Rouhani blamed the previous administration for the oversight and poor management.
“Under the previous administration, it was decided that a part of the Central Bank’s resources be managed in Europe,” said Vice President Eshag Jahangiri on April 23 regarding the US Supreme Court ruling. “Therefore, with complete poor planning, $2 billion of American bonds were purchased and kept in a European bank, so the Americans were able to easily block the bonds and then confiscate it.”
Iran’s vice president was not the only official from the administration of President Hassan Rouhani to point fingers at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pictured), who was president from 2005 to 2013. Hamid Baeidinejad, director general for political affairs at the Foreign Ministry and a nuclear negotiator, wrote a response to the ruling on his Instagram page April 23. Baeidinejad criticized the former head of the Central Bank for purchasing the bonds of a “hostile country” and said that it was not in line with the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Baeidinejad also wrote that not removing the funds in 2006 when it was expected there would be a round of sanctions on Iran was “clear negligence” on the part of the officials at the time. He added that not removing the funds in 2007 when it was clear that the lawsuit, which the Supreme Court recently upheld, sought Iran’s funds was another example of “negligence.”