Long story short, our job was over. Finished. Khalas! We were essentially fired or at least not formally hired.
Ali A had just called James from the Iranian Mission at the UN and advised that Ayatollah Khomeini himself had personally decided not to continue with our work or to dignify the American application with a responsive pleading which we had been preparing day and night for six weeks! We were in shock. How could this be? For sure we were going to win this case big-time or so we all believed.
The Khomeini decision cast the template for three decades of default judgments against Iran by America and Israel.
In "our" case, the ICJ's 15 judge Tribunal, sitting en banc, politely expressed pro forma "regret that Iran did not appear before this court to present its responses". The absence of Iran from the Court proceedings automatically brought into operation Article t53 of the ICJ Statute, under which the Court in default cases, is required, before finding in the Applicant's favor, to satisfy itself that the allegations of fact on which the claim is based are well founded. Absent Iran, the American Application (Complaint) won on all points. During the intervening 32 years Iran has lost every case brought against it in US Courts, never once on the merits but via default judgments that will eventually total more than ten billion dollars with more than half a dozen cases pending with the same predictable result.
Many, even in the U.S. government, continue to hold that culpability in the Marine barracks attack is undetermined. For example, former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger stated in 2002, 20 years after the bombing: "But we still do not have the actual knowledge of who did the bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut Airport, and we certainly didn't then."
On 7/3/12, Israel's third favorite US Federal District Judge, Royce Lambeth delivered another example of what many in the Zionist lobby considers his best judicial work. Judge Lambeth, in the eighth case against Iran on unproven allegations regarding the same incident, ordered Iran to pay yet another huge default judgment, this time $813 million in damages and interest to the families of 241 US soldiers killed in the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Lebanon. In his latest decision Lambeth stated that Tehran had to be "punished to the fullest extent legally possible under the law " and appeared to boast when he wrote in his ruling that "After this opinion, this court will have issued over $8.8 billion in judgments against Iran as a result of just this one 1983 Beirut bombing."
In 2007, under a law allowing foreign governments to be sued in US courts, Lambeth ordered Iran to pay $2.65 billion to victims' families, an amount he wrote at the time "a number of other Beirut bombing cases remain pending, and their completion will surely increase this amount."
Earlier, on 9/8/03 Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. awarded $123 million to 29 American victims and family members of Americans killed in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut.
However unjust, Iran will continue to lose every pending case and every future case by default unless it decides to use the judicial remedies available to it and take the initiative, for example, in the US organized economic sanctions case which is becoming extremely dangerous given US, UK, and French plans to use them to achieve regime change in Tehran. A joke among Washington DC lawyers is that if one of their ranks suffers from depression because he/she has never won a single case during their entire career, their psychiatrist will prescribe as therapy that the depressed lawyer sue Iran because for sure they will win that case.
The Islamic Republic can halt and even reverse the historic trend by filing an action at the International Court of Justice against the US, France, the UK and their allies, perhaps part of a class action case on behalf of all Iranian citizens being harmed by illegal and political economic sanctions. The US and the European Union (EU) have imposed several rounds of sanctions to pressure Iran to give up its uranium enrichment activities. On 7/8/12 an EU oil embargo against Iran took effect. There is in fact no probative evidence that Iran is engaged in a nuclear weapons program. The latest International Atomic Energy Agency report once again failed to produce a smoking gun, despite the best efforts of its new director general, Yukiya Amano -- described in a WikiLeaks cable as "solidly in the US court on every strategic decision". In February of this year, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared "Iran is not seeking to have the atomic bomb, possession of which is pointless, dangerous and is a great sin from an intellectual and a religious point of view." It is also the unanimous judgment of the U.S. intelligence community, declared in 2007 and affirmed in 2011, that Iran has abandoned any program to build nuclear weapons.