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Top UN Court to Hear Iran’s Suit Against US in Late August

A senior Iranian lawmaker says Tehran’s decision to file a lawsuit against Washington was an “effective legal step”, adding, “It can help prevent any further hostile action by the United States against other countries and international organizations”
The International Court of Justice  The International Court of Justice

The UN's top court said on Thursday it will hold hearings next month in a battle between Iran and the United States, after President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

"The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will hold public hearings from Monday 27 to Thursday 30 August in the case" concerning Iran versus the United States, the tribunal said, according to AFP. 

"The hearings will be devoted to the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Iran," it added in a statement.

Tehran recently filed its case with the ICJ, calling for the judges to order the immediate lifting of the sanctions which they said would cause "irreparable prejudice." 

Iran maintained restoring the penalties, lifted under the landmark 2015 deal signed between Iran and world powers, violated a decades-old treaty. 

Nuclear-related sanctions are set to be reimposed by Washington in two phases in August and November, and seek to bar European and other foreign companies from doing business with Iran and blocking its oil sales abroad.

Iran argued in its filing to the court that the move would break a 1955 Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations concluded between the two countries under the Shah before the Islamic Revolution. But the two countries have not had official diplomatic relations since 1980. 

*** Unusual Step 

The court, set up in 1946 in The Hague to rule in disputes between nations, revealed on Wednesday that its president, judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, had taken the unusual step to write a letter about the case directly to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

It did not reveal the contents but said under its rules the court could appeal to any party "to act in such a way as will enable any order the court may make...to have its appropriate effects."

Over the objections of allies, Trump in May withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal signed between Tehran and world powers in 2015.

He ordered the reimposition of the US sanctions that had been suspended in return for controls on Tehran's nuclear program, effectively barring many multinational firms from doing business in Iran.

*** Effective Legal Step 

A senior Iranian lawmaker says Tehran's decision to file a lawsuit against Washington was an "effective legal step", which requires intensive follow-up.  

Iran should use the experience of seasoned lawyers in this case, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told IRNA in remarks published on Thursday.

Many issues will be resolved if the court votes in Iran's favor, he said, adding, "It can help prevent any further hostile action by the United States against other countries and international organizations."  

A US State Department official said the application was without merit and Washington 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 official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters earlier this month.  

 

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