Iran goes to UN's highest court over re-imposed US sanctions

28 August, 2018, 01:21 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • US slams EU’s $20mn development aid to Iran as sending ‘wrong message at the wrong time

In both cases Iran is basing its claim on the obscure 1955 Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations, signed long before the country's Islamic revolution.

"The United States is publicly propagating a policy intending to damage as severely as possible Iran's economy and Iranian nationals and companies", Iran's lawyer Mohsen Mohebi told the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The U.S.is scheduled to respond on Tuesday, though the State Department argued in a written statement that Iran's complaint falls outside the bounds of the 1955 treaty and outside the ICJ's jurisdiction, according to Reuters, which reported that a ruling is expected within a month.

Iran on Monday demanded the UN's top court suspend USA nuclear-linked sanctions against Tehran, accusing Washington of plotting its "economic strangulation".

The BA route was reinstated in the wake of the 2015 accord between western powers and Iran under which most worldwide sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on the country's nuclear program.

In the Netherlands on Monday, Mohsen Mohebi, the lawyer representing Iran, condemned the U.S. for "naked economic aggression" in the first session of the case.

The move angered Washington, which said the package is "sending the wrong message" and is apparently undermining its efforts to isolate Iran with unilateral sanctions.

The European Union says the sanctions affect many EU companies that do business in Iran. The deal, which dealt with halting the nation's creation of nuclear weapons, also allowed for the lifting of economic sanctions that had largely prevented trade with the west in years prior. A final decision could take years.

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But Mr Trump said the deal "failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb" and did not deal with Tehran's "malign activities, including its ballistic missile programme and its support for terrorism".

He said sanctions are already having damaging effects on Iran's economy and society and threaten to further destabilize the volatile Mideast.

Iran has called on the other parties to the nuclear deal to resist USA pressure to isolate Iran.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is the name given to the 2015 global agreement under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear program. The freefall of rial's value against foreign currencies has not affected most of these Iranians, who are payed in dollars, euros, or pounds.

USA lawyers are expected to argue that the United Nations court should not have jurisdiction in the dispute, that the friendship treaty is no longer valid and that the sanctions Washington has levied against Tehran do not violate it anyway.

Worldwide companies including French oil firm Total and Germany's Siemens have suspended operations in Iran since Trump announced the USA withdrawal in May.

Air France and British Airways announced last week that they would halt flights to Tehran next month, saying they were not commercially viable. The British carrier added however that the decision was unrelated to the fresh sanctions.

United States lawyers are due to give their response in arguments before the court on Tuesday, with experts expecting them to challenge the ICJ's jurisdiction.

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