US will 'vigorously defend' against Iran court challenge: Pompeo

28 August, 2018, 12:58 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • Brian Hook State Department director of policy planning fields questions from journalists during the announcement of the creation of the Iran Action Group at the State Department in Washington

These changes, additionally, come as the USA imposed new sanctions on Iran earlier this year and after the country pulled out of the nuclear deal in May.

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo described Iran's filing with the ICJ as "an attempt to interfere with the sovereign rights of the US". Iran is now arguing that new sanctions imposed by the United States violates several measures of the 1955 treaty and wants those sanctions removed, as well as compensation for damage they caused.

Mohebi also argued that the sanctions were unjustified since, he said, Tehran was abiding by the terms of the landmark 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers.

That deal, signed shortly after the United States and Britain orchestrated a coup to topple the Iranian government in 1953, encourages good relations between the two countries and emphasizes economic cooperation.

His team of lawyers told the court in The Hague that the measures were already devastating Iran's economy and threatening the welfare of its citizens.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out from the JCPOA in May, re-imposing new sanctions on Iran's economy. "Iran will put up the strongest resistance to the US economic strangulation, by all peaceful means".

In November, a second batch of potentially more damaging sanctions will be reimposed on Iran's oil and shipping sectors as well as its central bank.

"We will vigorously defend against Iran's merit-less claims this week in The Hague", Pompeo said.

The European Union says the sanctions affect many EU companies that do business in Iran.

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In an initial written submission to the court, the United States said it believed The Hague court has no jurisdiction in the case and that Iran's assertions fall outside the bounds of the treaty.

The hearings - essentially a request by Iran for a provisional ruling - will last four days with a decision to follow within a month.

The deal, which dealt with halting the nation's creation of nuclear weapons, also allowed for the lifting of economic sanctions that had largely prevented trade with the west in years prior. A final decision could take years.

But Mr Trump said the deal "failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb" and did not deal with Tehran's "malign activities, including its ballistic missile programme and its support for terrorism". Iran's currency, the rial, has lost about half of its value since April.

Both KLM and British Airways launched services to Tehran in late 2016, per CNN. That year it brought a suit at the ICJ against the freezing of around $2 billion of Iranian assets overseas which United States courts say should go to American victims of terror attacks.

He said Iran had sought a diplomatic solution to the countries' dispute but was rejected.

Iran filed the case with the International Court of Justice in July, claiming that sanctions the Trump administration imposed on May 8 breach a 1955 bilateral agreement known as the Treaty of Amity that regulates economic and consular ties between the two countries.

The US and Iran have clashed at the court in the past since they became enemies after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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