USA pulls out of 1955 treaty with Iran, says measures long overdue

The International Court of Justice at the United Nations has issued an "order" Tuesday demanding that the United States lift sanctions against Iran re-imposed after the Trump administration made a decision to pull out of a nuclear proliferation treaty inked with Iran during the Obama years.

"We're disappointed that the court failed to recognize that it has no jurisdiction to issue any order relating to these sanctions measures with the United States".

The ruling earlier in the day by the Hague-based court had stated USA assurances that the sanctions would not negatively impact humanitarian aid and aviation safety "were not adequate".

Tehran had argued that the sanctions imposed since May by the administration of President Donald Trump violate the terms of that 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two countries, signed when Iran's last shah held power.

Jennifer Newstead, a legal adviser with the State Department, had said Iran's real quarrel was its frustration over the USA pullout from the nuclear pact, under which Tehran restricted its disputed uranium enrichment program under United Nations monitoring in exchange for a lifting of most global sanctions.

He then announced the USA would terminate the Amity treaty which formed the basis of Iran's suit against the U.S.

Pompeo said Wednesday that the US has already made clear that there will be humanitarian exceptions to the sanctions.

He said the administration would review all accords that might subject the U.S.to prosecution by global courts or panels.

The court said assurances offered by Washington to ensure sanctions do not affect humanitarian conditions were "not adequate".

Iran called on the ICJ judges to order the immediate suspension of Trump's unilateral move to reimpose economic sanctions, a move that also alarmed Washington's European Union allies.

The International Court of Justice unanimously ruled that Washington "shall remove by means of its choosing any impediments arising from the measures announced on May 8 to the free exportation to Iran of medicines and medical devices, food and agricultural commodities" as well as airplane parts, said judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf.

United States sanctions also had the "potential to endanger civil aviation safety in Iran and the lives of its users".

Ahead of the decision, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the sanctions were a form of "psychological warfare" aimed at regime change.

On May 8, Trump exited the USA from the historic deal to the dismay of Washington's European allies and slapped the first round of sanctions on Iran in August. The top U.N. court, which is located in The Hague, does not have the power to enforce its decisions, which are usually ignored by the United States anyway. He added that it is imperative for the global community "to collectively counter malign U.S. unilateralism".

The court also told both the United States and Iran to "refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute".

The ICJ is the United Nations' highest court for resolving disputes between nations.

  • Rogelio Becker