Tehran regards Washington’s actions as “outright theft”
At the end of April 2016, the Iranian Foreign Ministry protested to Washington regarding the confiscation of $2 billion of Iran’s foreign exchange reserves. The Iranian media has referred to Washington’s actions as “outright theft”, and Tehran has decided to move from the defensive to the offensive. In May, the Iranian Majlis approved a bill calling on the government to sue the US and demand compensation for damages incurred by Iran as a result of US actions since 1953. The history of the subversive activities against Iran begins with the overthrow of the legitimate government on 19 August 1953 organised by US and UK intelligence agencies. Further down the list is the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq (1980-1988) instigated by Washington. The Majlis is demanding that compensation be paid to families for the deaths of 223,000 Iranians, as well as to the 600,000 veterans of the war with Iraq, and has invited the government to estimate the amount of the claim. Reparations payments for losses incurred as a result of the 37 years of economic sanctions introduced by Washington in 1979 occupy a special place in the statement of claim to the US.
On the monetary evaluation of American civilisation
There is a short epilogue to this story. In May 2016, the US president completed a tour around the countries of Asia. In several of these, the US has committed crimes against humanity, inflicting colossal material and moral damage on the peoples of these countries. This refers, first and foremost, to Japan. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 fit completely with the modern definition of a ‘terrorist act’. Experts estimate that America’s atomic bombs claimed the lives of 300,000 people. There were also the genetic effects of the atomic bombs. Washington has never apologised for these barbaric acts, and Japan has never raised the issue of compensation for the damage caused. Let us suppose, however, that the compensation for each Japanese civilian killed would be equal to the compensation calculated by the US for the 1983 terrorist attack in Lebanon ($2 million per person). In this case, Japan could demand reparation payments from the US totalling $600 billion. And that is not counting the genetic damage currently affecting around a quarter of the Japanese population or the material damage caused by the destruction of buildings and structures in the atomic blast zones.
Barack Obama also visited Vietnam. Like Japan, Hanoi remained silent and did not present the US president with reparation claims relating to US aggression in the 1960s and 1970s. Yet from the use of toxic substances alone, at least five million Vietnamese citizens have developed diseases and genetic abnormalities. Incidentally, US soldiers were also affected by these chemicals, but they ultimately managed to get some compensation from their government. Based on the amount of compensation given to these US soldiers, compensation for damages caused to the people of Vietnam would run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.
With its reparation claims against the US, Iran will hopefully create a much-needed precedent that Japan, Vietnam, and other countries where America has enforced its democracy will take advantage of in the future.