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UN court orders US to lift Iran sanctions

Posted in Featured, World

Published on October 06, 2018 with No Comments

The World Court ordered the United States to ensure that sanctions against Iran, due to be tightened next month, do not affect humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety. Judges at the International Court of Justice handed a victory to Tehran, which had argued that sanctions imposed since May by the administration of US President Donald Trump violate the terms of a 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two countries. However, US said that it was terminating the 1955 treaty reached with then ally Iran after Tehran cited it in an international court ruling against Washington’s sanctions policy. “I’m announcing that the US is terminating the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran. This is a decision, frankly, that is 39 years overdue,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. The UN’s top court ordered the US to lift sanctions on humanitarian goods for Iran in a ruling widely seen as a rebuke to Trump — but which Pompeo described as a “defeat for Iran”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement “the decision proved once again that the Islamic Republic is right and the US sanctions against people and citizens of our country are illegal and cruel. “The United States must comply with its international commitments and lift obstacles to Iranian trade,” it added. The ICJ is the United Nations’ highest court for resolving disputes between nations. Its rulings are binding, but it has no power to enforce them, and both the United States and Iran have ignored them in the past. The court said assurances offered by Washington to ensure sanctions do not affect humanitarian conditions were “not adequate”. “The court considers that the US must…remove by means of its choosing any impediment arising from the measures announced on 8 May 2018,” said Presiding Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf, reading a summary of a ruling by the 15-member panel of justices.

The sanctions may not hurt “exportation to the territory of Iran of goods required for humanitarian needs such as medicines, medical devices and foodstuffs and agricultural commodities as well as goods and services required for the safety of civil aviation,” he said.

While US sanctions “in principle” exempt food and medical supplies, the court said “it has become difficult if not impossible for Iran, Iranian nationals and companies to engage in international financial transactions” to purchase such goods. The Trump administration argued last month that Iran’s request was an attempt to misuse the court and that the 1955 treaty specifically ruled out using courts to resolve disputes.

 

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