United Nations court orders U.S. to ease Iran sanctions

Aaron Brown
October 4, 2018

The ICJ, the top court of the United Nations, early on Wednesday ordered the United States to lift certain sanctions on Iran, including those on imports linked to civil aviation and medical devices, citing the Treaty of Amity.

Speaking to reporters, Pompeo said the ruling "marked a useful point for us to demonstrate the absolute absurdity of the Treaty of Amity between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran".

"This is a decision, frankly, that is 39 years overdue", Pompeo said at a Washington news conference.

"The court denied Iran's attempt to secure broad measures to interfere with US sanctions and rightly noted Iran's history of non-compliance with its global obligations under the treaty of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons", he said.

But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that the UN court did not rule more broadly against USA sanctions and he insisted that the United States already exempted humanitarian goods from the sanctions.

The court's rulings are binding, but it does not have a way to enforce them.

It was signed at a time of close relations between Washington and Tehran, long before the 1979 revolution brought about decades of hostility between the two.

Iran and the European Union have been working actively to keep the nuclear accord alive, and protect global companies doing business with the country from USA sanctions.

Iran took the USA to the ICJ twice; first in 1988 over the downing of Iran Air flight 655 and the killing of all 290 people on board and in 1992 in relations to United States attacks on Iranian oil rigs in 1987 and 1988.

This sets up another showdown between the ICJ and the USA administration, which has already said the court has no jurisdiction over its foreign policy, especially concerning national security.

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"They will not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICJ on USA foreign policy", said Luciano Zaccara, a researcher specializing in Iranian politics at Qatar University.

Neither country recognizes the Eisenhower-era treaty; the two countries dropped diplomatic ties in the Carter administration, when Iran took a number of American diplomats hostage.

If the court decides it has jurisdiction, it will likely "declare that the parties should refrain from aggravating the dispute", but any steps beyond this remain to be seen, he said.

Last week, in a speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Trump promised that the U.S.

The court is the primary judicial arm of the United Nations.

The court said the case will continue and the US can still challenge its jurisdiction but no date has been set for further hearings. Hoekstra, like Pompeo, also noted that the court "declined.to grant the sweeping measures requested by Iran" and instead "issued a narrow decision on a very limited range of sectors".

President Donald Trump reiterated that the USA does not recognize the ICJ's authority in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in August.

"The United States will not sit idly by as baseless politicized claims are brought against us", Bolton said.

The ruling is likely to rile Trump, who reimposed the sanctions in May after pulling out of Iran´s worldwide nuclear deal to the dismay of his allies.

Despite worldwide criticism, Washington is pushing ahead with the measures.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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