US challenges International Court of Justice ruling on Iran sanctions regime

US challenges International Court of Justice ruling on Iran sanctions regime

Today, the United States will prepare a series of retaliatory measures in response to a ruling by the Hague-based International

Hearings alleged violations of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Iran vs the U.S. in The Hague

Photo: Reuters/Piroschka van de Wouw

Today, the United States will prepare a series of retaliatory measures in response to a ruling by the Hague-based International Court of Justice on the re-imposition of sanctions against Iran.

In its submission to the court, Iran argued that the US had violated both the terms of a 1955 bilateral friendship treaty, the Treaty of Amity, and a core provision of international law which protected the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. The ICJ ruled earlier in the week that the US must lift all restrictive measures and sanctions relating to humanitarian trade, food, medicine and civil aviation in response.

The US is expected to ignore the ICJ ruling, in line with a long history of disregard for international legal decisions that threaten its international positions. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced plans by the Trump administration to withdraw from all bilateral accords involving Iran, which he argued would nullify the practical effects of the ICJ ruling on the Treaty of Amity. While Europe has signalled support for the ruling, this raises the prospect of increased trans-Atlantic tensions between the US and Europe as the EU prepares a series of mechanisms to enable the continuation of limited payments and trade activity.

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