World Court Rules in Favor of Iran, Against US Moves

World Court Rules Against Some US SanctionsWorld Court Rules Against Some US Sanctions

The International Court of Justice issued a unanimous ruling on Wednesday ordering the United States to lift any restrictive measure with regard to humanitarian trade and civil aviation safety arising from its sanctions against Iran.

The court order, described as “a victory for Tehran” in the western media, was issued as a result of Iran's proceedings before the world court against the US in July 2016, arguing that the sanctions imposed by US President Donald Trump after his withdrawal from the nuclear deal violated the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights concluded between the two states in 1955. 

The lawsuit was filed after the US abandoned the 2015 accord between Tehran and the six world powers on Iran's nuclear program in May and restored sanctions that were lifted and waived under the deal. 

While sanctions in principle exempt food and medical supplies, the court said, “It has become difficult if not impossible for Iran, Iranian nationals and companies to engage in international financial transactions” to purchase such goods, Reuters reported. 

The court found that assurances offered by Washington to ensure sanctions do not affect humanitarian conditions were “not adequate”.

Tehran’s Rightfulness Endorsed 

Iran’s Foreign Ministry welcomed the order in a statement, calling it another definite indication as to the country's “rightfulness”.

“It is another clear sign of Iran's rightfulness and the illegitimacy and cruelty of US sanctions against the citizens of the country,” the ministry said on its website.

“The ruling showed once more that the US is becoming all the more isolated due to its wrong and extremist policies… It is time for it to become a responsible and normal country in the global community.” 

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also referred to the decision in a tweet as “another failure for sanctions-addicted USG [US government] and victory for rule of law. Imperative for int’l community to collectively counter malign US unilateralism.”


ICJ Orders 

As per the terms of the order, the US must, "in accordance with its obligations under the 1955 Treaty, remove, by means of its choosing, any impediments arising from the measures announced on May 8, 2018, to the free exportation of medicines and medical devices, foodstuffs and agricultural commodities and spare parts, equipment and associated services [including warranty, maintenance, repair services and inspections] necessary for the safety of civil aviation,” according to ICJ’s press release. 

The US is also obliged to ensure that licenses and necessary authorizations are granted and that payments and other transfers of funds are not subject to any restriction in so far as they relate to the mentioned goods and services. 

The court has reaffirmed that its “provisional measures have binding effect and create international legal obligations for any party to whom they are addressed”.

Moreover, the ruling requires both parties to “refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the court or make it more difficult to resolve”.


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