Global

Iran fights US sanctions at UN court

Iran fights US sanctions at UN court

The United States vowed to fight Iran before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), calling Tehran's move to question the legality of recently reimposed sanctions an attempt to interfere with its national security.

Iran is going to the United Nations' highest court in a bid to have US sanctions lifted. 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.

Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, brokered when Barack Obama was still in the White House, imposed restrictions on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program in return for the lifting of most US and global sanctions against Tehran. "The United States has claimed that the very objective of these measures is to cause maximum damage to Iran".

A second wave of punitive measures is due to hit Iran in early November, targeting its vital energy sector including oil exports.

Iran filed a complaint against Washington in July, saying that by pulling out of the deal, the United States breached the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights signed in 1955.

"The proceedings instituted by Iran are a misuse of the court", he contended.

The oral hearings, essentially a request by Iran for a provisional ruling, will last for four days, with a decision to follow within a month.

The U.S. previously said it does not acknowledge the court's jurisdiction regarding the case. A final decision could take years.

Pompeo said lawyers would "vigorously defend" the USA and "and we will continue to work with our allies to counter the Iranian regime's destabilizing activities in the region, block their financing of terror, and address Iran's proliferation of ballistic missiles and other advanced weapons systems that threaten worldwide peace and stability".

Trump said the sanctions would turn up the financial pressure on Tehran to come to a "comprehensive and lasting solution" regarding its activities such as its "ballistic missile programme and its support for terrorism". The freefall of rial's value against foreign currencies has not affected most of these Iranians, who are payed in dollars, euros, or pounds.

A raft of worldwide companies - including France's Total, Peugeot and Renault, and Germany's Siemens and Daimler - have suspended operations in Iran in the wake of the move.

European leaders, including Britain's Theresa May and France's Emmanuel Macron, have been fighting to keep the deal alive, but are struggling to save it from collapse in light of the fresh sanctions.

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

Air France and British Airways announced Thursday they would halt flights to Tehran next month, saying they were not commercially viable.

The ICJ was set up in 1946 to rule in disputes between countries. Its rulings are binding but on rare occasions they have been ignored by certain countries, chiefly the United States.


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