Iran is Taking US to International Court Over Re-imposed Sanctions

The International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. April 20, 2016. (Credit: Reuters)

Tehran has announced that it has filed a complaint against the United States in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over President Donald Trump’s decision to re-impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic after unilaterally ditching the ‘nuclear deal’.

By bringing the case to the court, Iran hopes to “hold the US accountable” for its “unlawful” return to the sanctions policy, the nation’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday (shown right). “Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of the US contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations. It’s imperative to counter its habit of violating international law.”

Under the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed by Iran, the US, China, Russia and the EU, Tehran was drastically reducing its uranium stockpile and the number of centrifuges in exchange for the lifting of Western-backed sanctions. Iran’s fulfillment of the commitments under the deal was confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Despite the atomic watchdog’s verdict that Iran was in compliance, Trump nevertheless chose to unilaterally withdraw from the JCPOA earlier this year, which he had been threatening to do since taking office. He blasted the deal as “defective at its core” and cited deep distrust towards Iran as reasons for scrapping the existing framework. Trump’s move met heavy criticism from the EU, as well as Beijing and Moscow, all of whom decided to continue honoring the deal despite the US’ departure.

Over the course of several months, Iranian officials have been warning that the country can quickly return to the pre-JCPOA reality and start producing weapons-grade enriched uranium. Nevertheless, foreign affairs chief Zarif praised the ‘nuclear deal’ on Saturday, saying it remains the “triumph of multilateral diplomacy despite the US actions.”

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), which sits at the Hague in the Netherlands, is the UN’s judicial body tasked with resolving disputes between sovereign nations.

Iran currently has a separate open case already against the US lodged to the ICJ in 2016. It concerns Iran’s foreign assets, frozen by the West as part of the sanctions regime. Tehran’s complaint was sparked by the US Supreme Court which ruled in favor of transferring seized Iranian money to around 1,000 survivors and relatives of the victims of ‘80s-‘90s terror attacks against US citizens abroad. Washington blames Iran for sponsoring the attacks, though without any evidence to support the claim. The court’s hearing of the case will commence in October.

* This article was automatically syndicated and expanded from RT International.

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