Iran asks UN’s highest court to suspend United States sanctions

Sean Reid
August 28, 2018

Iran warned Monday that re-imposed US sanctions would cripple its economy and plunge the volatile Middle East deeper into crisis as it urged the United Nations' highest court to suspend the Trump administration's economic pressure on Tehran.

Members of the International Court of Justice attend a hearing for alleged violations of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between Iran and the US, at the International Court in The Hague, Netherlands August 27, 2018.

Iran said the usa sanctions, which are damaging its already-weak economy, violate terms of a little-known 1955 friendship treaty between the two countries.

AsCommon Dreamsreported, critics warned that Trump's decision toviolate the Iran nuclear accordand reimpose sanctions - which officially went into effect earlier this month - significantly heighten the risk of a "new war in the Middle East".

According to Tehran, the policy conducted by Washington "is nothing but naked economic aggression".

"The US is publicly propagating a policy meant to damage as severely as possible Iran's economy and Iranian national companies, and therefore inevitably Iranian nationals", Mr Mohebi told the court on Monday. "Iran will put up the strongest resistance to the US economic strangulation, by all peaceful means".

The U.S. sanctions target Iran's vehicle industry, trade in gold and other precious metals, and purchases of U.S. dollars crucial to support its oil exports and other global trade.

In November, a second batch of potentially more damaging sanctions will be reimposed on Iran's oil and shipping sectors as well as its central bank.

U.S. lawyers will reportedly claim that the friendship treaty signed before the Islamic Revolution in 1979 is no longer valid and that the sanctions Washington has levied against Tehran, do not violate it anyway. They urged the court to order the suspension of the sanctions pending a definitive ruling.

The deal was thrown into disarray following Washington's decision in May to stop all activities in Iran and restore sanctions on the oil-rich nation.

"The United States has claimed that the very objective of these measures is to cause maximum damage to Iran".

The ICJ is expected to take a couple of months to decide whether to grant Tehran's request for a provisional ruling.

Under the deal, Iran reined in its nuclear programme under United Nations monitoring and won the removal of devastating global sanctions in return. "We will also ensure Iran has no path to a nuclear weapon - not now, not ever". Iran's currency, the rial, has lost about half of its value since April. A final decision in the case may take years.

After years of diplomacy, the 2015 deal was signed by Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.

The ICJ president Abdulqawi Yusuf heads a 15-judge panel hearing Iran's case.

Despite the treaty, the two countries have not had diplomatic ties since 1980.

Iran filed the case with the International Court of Justice in July, claiming.

The US and Iran have clashed at the court in the past since they became enemies after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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