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ICJ Confirms Iran Lawsuit, US Vows to Fight

The International Court of Justice said on Tuesday that Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States  with hearings being scheduled for October.The International Court of Justice said on Tuesday that Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States  with hearings being scheduled for October.

The International Court of Justice said on Tuesday that Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States saying that Washington’s decision in May to impose sanctions after pulling out of a nuclear deal violates a 1955 treaty between the two countries.

A US State Department official said the application was without merit and the US would fight it in the court.

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

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran reached by his predecessor Barack Obama and other world powers, and ordered tough US sanctions on Tehran.

Under the 2015 deal, which Trump sees as flawed, Iran reined in its disputed nuclear program under UN monitoring and won a removal of international sanctions in return.

The ICJ, which is based in The Hague and is also known as the World Court, is the United Nations tribunal for resolving international disputes. Iran’s filing asks the ICJ to order the US to provisionally lift its sanctions ahead of more detailed arguments.

“Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of US contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet on Monday, referring to Tehran’s lawsuit at the ICJ.

Iran said in its filing that Trump’s move “has violated and continued to violate multiple provisions” of the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights, signed long before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted the US-allied shah and triggered decades of hostile relations with Washington.

  Hearings in October

In a lawsuit filed by Iran in 2016 based on the same 1955 treaty, Washington argued that the ICJ had no jurisdiction. The court has scheduled hearings in that case in October.

The next step in Iran’s new lawsuit will be a hearing in which the US is likely to contest whether it merits a provisional ruling. The court has not yet set a date, but hearings on requests for provisional rulings usually are heard within several weeks, with a decision coming within months.

Although the ICJ is the highest United Nations court and its decisions are binding, it has no power to enforce them, and countries–including the US–have occasionally ignored them.

The Trump administration has indicated it wants a new deal with Iran that would cover the Islamic Republic’s regional military activities and ballistic missile program.

Iran has said both issues are not negotiable, and the other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal including Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia and China, remain committed to it.

 

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