Iran sues US over restart of economic sanctions

The government of Iran has asked the United Nations’ International Court of Justice (ICJ) to strike down economic sanctions reimposed by the U.S. after the Trump administration withdrew from the Obama-era Iran nuclear agreement.

Following President Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the 2016 agreement on May 8, sanctions against Iran which existed prior to the agreement going into effect returned.

In a suit filed by the Iranian government on July 16, Tehran is alleging the restoration of economic sanctions violates multiple clauses of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, specifically Clause 2 of Article XXI, which states disputes between Iran and the U.S. are to be settled by the ICJ.

According to the complaint, Iran does not ask for specific damages, but a statement in the legal action read:

“The USA shall fully compensate Iran for the violation of its international legal obligations in an amount to be determined by the Court at a subsequent stage of the proceedings.  Iran reserves the right to submit and present to the Court in due course a precise evaluation of the compensation owed by the USA.”

Iran has also asked all sanctions be paused until the proceedings in front of the ICJ are concluded.

Responding to the lawsuit, one anonymous U.S. official stated the litigation was baseless and the U.S. would mount a fight against it in the ICJ at The Hague.

“While we cannot comment on the specifics, Iran’s application is baseless and we intend to vigorously defend the United States before the ICJ,” a State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

Sanctions are due to restart on Nov. 4 and are expected to block as many as 1 million barrels of Iranian oil a day.


[VOA] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy Reuters via UNIAN]