Freezing Assets: The USA and the Most Effective Economic by Mahvash Alerassool

By Mahvash Alerassool

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The bank was not permitted to offset debts owed to it in other jurisdictions, against deposits held in its foreign branches. Even if we assume, arguendo, that Chase could avoid the said problems by transferring the deposits to New York, the transfer itself would create another problem. The freeze regulations allowed set-offs of offshore blocked assets only. Under the regulations it was permitted to transfer frozen offshore assets to blocked onshore accounts. But when the deposits were transferred onshore, their set-off was a violation of the freeze regulations.

4 The purpose of the lawsuits was to recover and preserve a major portion of the foreign currency reserves of the state of Iran. s Accordingly, in bringing litigation in London to recover its foreign currency reserves, BMI was acting in accordance with its sovereign functions as defined by Iranian and international law. But the litigation inevitably required the English court to adjudicate the validity and legality of the application of the freeze order to the branches of US banks in London and the accounts that were opened under and governed by English law.

On 14 November 1979. The IEEPA requires the President to consult the Congress, if possible before the invocation of the Act. This requirement was met by a few telephone calls made to some members of Congress by US Treasury officials in the middle of the night, to inform them of the decision to freeze the Iranian assets before the order was signed in the morning. 77 There was no objection by the US Congress to this manner of consultation. In fact the language of the IEEPA allows the US President to act swiftly, ifhe thinks it is necessary, to invoke the Act.

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