Are embassies an extension of a foreign country's territory?

Nice report - well done. I didn’t quite understand the passage about the lawsuit by former hostages against Iran, though; why would it matter whether or not the U.S. embassy in Tehran was U.S. territory, if the lawsuit was against the Iranian government?

There were two cited cases in which 767 Third Avenue Associates (presumably a big NYC landlord) was the plaintiff. Sounds like renting to diplomats is no bed of roses. :dubious:

It has to do with a technical requirement of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

Here’s a bit from one of the cases:

McKeel v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 722 F.2d 582; 1983 U.S. App. LEXIS 14044 (9th Cir. 1983); and see, Persinger v. Islamic Republic of Iraq, 234 U.S. App. D.C. 349; 729 F.2d 835; 1984 U.S. App. LEXIS 24578 (D.C. Cir. 1984).

Yep. Most of the references (well 3 or 4 anyway) are articles discussing nightmares in real estate transactions with diplomats.

I’m headed out of town. I may not be able to respond for a while if there are more questions.

Thanks for the answer. What a terrible injustice, though - the U.S. embassy is seized by Tehran mobs with the active encouragement, support and propagandizing of the revolutionary regime, and the regime later successfully claims sovereign immunity based on U.S. law!?!?!?!? Ugh. :mad:

The saddest part is that Congress created new legislation to permit the hostages (and others) to sue, but courts held the lawsuits were still blocked by the Algiers Accords:

I believe that, historically (and possibly still the accepted remedy in international law), the recourse of the offended nation for an offense of this nature is to demand reparations from the offending nation through diplomacy, and if denied, to treat the offense as a causus belli and declare war. The US tendency to try and handle international relations issues through the US courts is somewhat odd to the rest of us.

Here’s a question I’ve wondered oabout since I took a tour of the place circa 1986: Is the UN headquarters “not part of the United States” as claimed by my tour guide and this UN web page? The wikipedia article makes it sound like the UN headquarters is not much different from any other diplomatic site, i.e., it remains part of the United States.

Right. And in this case, it was sort of overdetermined. As I mentioned, custom or not, the U.S. had settled the hostages’ claims with Iran before the hostages were released:

And see, Roeder v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 333 F.3d 228 (D.C. Cir. 2003): (Amendments to FSIA passed by Congress specifically to enable suit by former hostages did not abrogate Presidential settlement of hostages’ claims in Algiers Accords).

That’s correct. We talked about this topic a while ago here: Legal Aspects of Diplomatic Immunity: what about UN HQ?

I didn’t mean to undercut this point before. Yes. **Bookkeeper **is exactly right. Historically under international law, States, and not their citizens had rights. An injury to a citizen was an injury to the citizen’s State. So the State would seek reparations–there was no venue for suits by individuals against States who had violated their rights (most of the time). That is changing to some extent. There is a lot of discussion in the literature about it.

This article talks a little about the issue with respect to U.S. practices:'l._L._421_(2000).pdf

There’s plenty more out there in print, but I couldn’t find anything great online.