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Iran urges ‘proper’ ICJ reaction to continued US sanctions

The file photo shows an inside view of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The Iranian government has called on the International Court of Justice to show a proper reaction to the United States’ lack of commitment and consistent violation of undertakings ordered by the ICJ related to the easing of sanctions.

In a letter on Friday, the Iranian government said the US continues to violate and refuses to act regarding an interim ICJ order to remove obstacles in the way of the export of humanitarian items, food and medicine, equipment and associated services necessary for the safety of civil aviation and payments and other transfers of funds.

It added that the US has intensified sanctions and hindered transactions even during the hard times of the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Court of Justice on February 3 ruled that it can take on Iran’s bid to overturn illegal US sanctions, which were re-imposed by Donald Trump, the former US president, in May 2018 after he pulled Washington out of a nuclear deal signed between Tehran and world powers.

Iran brought the case in 2018 after Trump reinstated anti-Iran sanctions following the unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The United States tried to argue that Iran could not base claims at the ICJ on the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights between the two countries.

However, a majority of a panel of 16 judges found the treaty could be used as a basis for the ICJ’s jurisdiction.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hailed the interim ruling by the United Nations’ top court rebuffing Washington’s claim that the tribunal lacks jurisdiction to judge a lawsuit filed by Tehran against illegal US sanctions.

“Another legal victory for Iran,” Zarif tweeted, adding that the ICJ “dismissed all US preliminary objections in the case brought by Iran over unlawful US sanctions.”

The letter also included the voting by the Iran–United States Claims Tribunal (IUSCT) against the US in a 37-million-dollar case brought by Iran.

The Iranian government's letter and its addenda were in 250 pages and contained documents on repeated and continued violations of the ICJ order. The letter was handed over to the ICJ's secretary general in The Hague on March 18.

In a legal victory for the Islamic Republic, the Hague-based Iran–United States Claims Tribunal ordered Washington in March to pay $37 million to Iran after finding it guilty of passing Treasury regulations that prevented or delayed the transfer of part of the Iranian assets in violation of the 1981 Algiers Accords.

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