Iran’s former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has written an open letter to Barack Obama, telling him to “fix” a Supreme Court ruling that could allow American victims of Iran-linked terrorism to seize $2 billion in frozen assets.
“In April, the US Supreme Court confirmed an earlier ruling that [$2 billion in Iranian foreign currency reserves] should be used to compensate the families of victims of the 1983 bombing of a US Marines barracks in Lebanon and other incidents blamed on Iran. Iran is appealing the decision at the International Court of Justice,” AFP reports.
As UPI transcribes the letter, it’s not exactly a timid request:
It is the clear expectation of the Iranian nation that the particular case of property seizure, which fully occurred during your term in office, and actually toward the end of the term, and which is counter to all international legal principles and rules, be quickly fixed by your excellency and that not only the Iranian nations right be restored, and the seized property released and returned, but also the damages caused be fully compensated for.
I passionately advise you not to let the historical defamation and bitter incident be recorded under your name, within the framework of unilateral and unjustified relations of the two states, hence deepening the historical distrust
Americans can only wonder where Ahmadinejad got the idea that His Excellency Barack Obama can “fix” Supreme Court decisions.
AFP quotes Ahmadinejad adding that “despite early promises by the US president to improve ties with Iran, ‘the same hostile policies along with the same trend of enmity were pursued.'”
In addition to posting the letter online, Ahmadinejad delivered it to the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which has handled American diplomatic interests since the Khomeini revolution in 1979.
The Associated Press floats the theory that Ahmadinejad is talking tough to the United States in order to build up his credibility as a “hardliner” and exploit popular dissatisfaction with minimal apparent benefits from the nuclear deal so he can challenge “moderate” Hassan Rouhani in next spring’s election.
Ahmadinejad was term-limited out but is now eligible to run again under Iranian law. His return to power would be the ultimate comical ending to the “moderates versus hardliners” theater that has so thoroughly captivated the Obama administration since Rouhani took office. Obama and his advisers were convinced the nuclear deal would empower moderates and transform Iran; instead, popular dissatisfaction with the deal could bring Ahmadinejad back to power.