US violated ICJ’s ruling of lifting Iran sanctions

(Tuesday, November 10, 2020) 09:23

TEHRAN, Nov. 04 (MNA) – Iran’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations said that the US has violated a binding ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that ordered Washington to lift some of its unilateral sanctions against Tehran.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the remarks in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, saying that the US paid no heed to the ICJ’s ruling in 2018 and violated the international law by intensifying sanctions and coercive measures against the Islamic Republic.

"The United States has used coercive measures as its foreign policy tools [sanctions] against Iran in recent years, which have intensified with the withdrawal of the country from the JCPOA," he said.

"These sanctions have directly and indirectly targeted Iranian companies and the Iranian people and affected Iran's ability to trade freely," he added, saying, "Meanwhile, the US President has shamelessly announced that the toughest sanctions will be imposed on Iran and that Iran's problems will be greater than before."

"In response to these illegal actions, which are contrary to the principles of the UN Charter, International Law and Iran's bilateral agreement with the United States in 1955, the Islamic Republic of Iran filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice and requested an interim injunction from the ICJ to stop the illegal actions of the United States," the Iranian diplomat said.

He went on to say, "The US sanctions have impacted Iran’s ability to engage in free trade, and have particularly impeded the country’s access to medicine and medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic."

“The US is bound by the court, and any non-compliance is subject to international responsibility,” Takht-Ravanchi added.

“The court has asked the litigants to refrain from actions that would aggravate or expand the dispute. It is clear that US wrongdoing gives rise to its international responsibility,” he said.

Back in October 2018, the ICJ ordered the United States to halt the unilateral sanctions it had re-imposed on "humanitarian" supplies to Iran.

The Hague-based court, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, announced its ruling on October 3 regarding the July 2018 lawsuit brought by Tehran against Washington's decision to re-impose unilateral sanctions following the US exit from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

The decisions of the ICJ – which rules on disputes between UN member states – are legally binding. The ruling requires Washington to allow supply of medicine and medical devices, food and agricultural goods and airplane parts, which directly deal with human lives.

Iran’s lawsuit argued that the sanctions violate the terms of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between Iran and the US, which the latter canceled following the October ruling.

The US claims it has formally exempted humanitarian supplies, but banks and financial institutions refuse to process Iran-related transactions for fear of provoking US sanctions.