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International court to rule on US-Iranian dispute

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International court to rule on US-Iranian dispute

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Photo: Reuters

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will deliver a verdict on the preliminary objections to a lawsuit between the US and Iran concerning re-imposed US sanctions today.

The lawsuit was first filed in 2018 when the Trump administration re-imposed nuclear sanctions against Iran following the US exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. When Iran claimed before the ICJ that the sanctions violated a friendship treaty signed by both nations in 1955, the US challenged the admissibility of the lawsuit, given that the US is not a party to the court.

The court will likely reject the US arguments, given that the treaty affords the ICJ jurisdiction over disputes that cannot be solved through independent diplomatic efforts. However, the US is unlikely to follow the ICJ’s verdict given that it does not recognise the ICJ’s jurisdiction and has pulled out of other treaties that mandate disputes be solves through the ICJ.

The case is also likely to not be solved in the short term, potentially rendering the proceedings irrelevant given that US President Joe Biden has confirmed his administration’s intention to re-join the 2015 deal. Improvement of relations between both countries will likely make this case moot as they will probably seek new agreements under a bilateral framework.

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