Wednesday, July 12, 2006

... the theft may precede sanctions and war

Recent editorials have discussed David J. Strachman’s attempt to seize Iranian antiquities from University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute.

An article by Safa Haeri provides background. The basic story is that a US court found the government of Iran liable for damages to bombing victims, Iran didn't pay, Strachman is attempting to force the U of Chigago into a 'judicial sale', but now the US Attorney is arguing that foreign nations are immune from this procedure.

An article by Niki Akhavan’s in (left-leaning) Z Magazine calls the court's actions “theft,” implying the judge loots Iran's culture by allowing antiquities to be used to settle debts of the current government.

Wayne Sayles argues the judges actions were correct in a recent blog posting. In Wayne's blog comments I argue that although antiquities are OK for settling debts it is surprising that we US citizens can sue foreign powers in US courts at all — even bizarro governments.

Even when Iran was holding US citizens as hostages then-President Carter didn't attempt to nationalize museum exhibits on tour in the US — we just froze bank accounts.

No comments: