Divestment of Iran's Immunity in the U.S. Courts



State immunity is a principle in customary international law which bars domestic courts from hearing civil claims against sovereign states with some exceptions such as jure gestionis acts, waiver, etc.While the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (1996) generally prevents foreign states from being the subject of lawsuits in domestic courts, the amendments of U.S. Congress to the Act of 1976 exempted those countries having unfriendly relations with the U.S.: from this protection have costed Iran. Judgments entered under this so-called “terrorism exception” against the Islamic Republic of Iran have been totally more than 12 billion dollars so far, with a number of suits still pending. This article studies various U.S. regulations in this regard and also its inconsistency with the rules of international law and at the same time suggests some probable defenses in the U.S. courts which may be applicable in other international courts and Tribunals.