Iran wants to take US to international court over re-imposed sanctions

Iran wants to take US to international court over re-imposed sanctions
Tehran has announced that it has filed a complaint against the US in the International Court of Justice over President Donald Trump’s decision to re-impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic after he ditched the ‘nuclear deal’.

By bringing the case to the court, Iran hopes to “hold the US accountable” for its “unlawful” return to the sanctions policy, the nation’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday. “Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of the US contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations. It's imperative to counter its habit of violating international law.”

Under the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed by Iran, the US, China, Russia and the EU, Tehran was drastically reducing its uranium stockpile and the number of centrifuges in exchange for the lifting of West-backed sanctions. Iran’s fulfillment of the commitments under the deal was confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Despite the atomic watchdog’s verdict, earlier this year Trump chose to unilaterally withdraw from the JCPOA. He blasted the deal as “defective at its core” and cited deep distrust towards Iran as reasons for scrapping the existing framework. Trump’s move met heavy criticism from the EU, as well as Beijing and Moscow, all of whom decided to stick to the deal even with the US leaving.

Over the course of several months, Iranian officials have been warning that the country can quickly return to the pre-JCPOA reality and start producing weapons-grade enriched uranium. Nevertheless, foreign affairs chief Zarif praised the ‘nuclear deal’ on Saturday, saying it remains the “triumph of multilateral diplomacy despite the US actions.”

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the UN’s judicial body tasked with resolving disputes between sovereign nations. The court sits at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Iran had a separate case against the US lodged to the ICJ in 2016. It concerns Iran’s foreign assets, frozen by the West as part of the sanctions regime. Tehran’s complaint was sparked by the US Supreme Court which ruled in favor of transferring seized Iranian money to around 1,000 survivors and relatives of the victims of the ‘80s and the ‘90s terror attacks against the US citizens abroad. Washington blames Iran for sponsoring the attacks. The court’s hearing of the case will commence in October.