Iranian VP: US can’t suddenly abandon Treaty of Amity

Tasnim – Iran’s vice president for legal affairs denounced the US announcement of its withdrawal from the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights -signed with Iran in 1955- saying such a pull-out is a lengthy process that faces many obstacles.

In comments on Saturday, La’ya Joneidi slammed the US government’s withdrawal from the Treaty of Amity as an “ill-advised announcement”, saying, “Exiting from the Treaty of Amity normally takes one year. Thus, on legal grounds, the US withdrawal will be effective one year after announcement of its exit from the treaty.”

Her comments came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on October 3 that Washington was pulling out of the six-decade-old treaty with Iran that had provided a basis for normalizing relations between the two countries, including diplomatic and economic exchanges.

The US move came hours after the International Court of Justice ordered the United States to ensure that a new round of American sanctions imposed against Tehran this year did not prevent food, medicine and aircraft parts from reaching Iran.

Elsewhere in her comments, Joneidi said the ICJ has issued a binding ruling when the Treaty of Amity was in effect, saying none of the parties can claim that its withdrawal from the treaty would nullify the court verdict.

The court ruling, issued at a time when the treaty was effective, would be itself valid and binding, she explained, saying the treaty signatories are bound to honor their commitments under principles of international humanitarian law.

Joneidi also said that the US has violated the norms of goodwill by withdrawing from the Treaty of Amity after the court ruling, saying the ICJ had called on Washington not to take any action that may contravene the UN court’s future rulings on the lawsuit brought by Iran.

The October ruling by the international court in The Hague was related to a complaint that Iran filed in July, arguing that the new sanctions violated the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights, which was signed in 1955. In essence, the ruling sought to protect Iran’s public and economy from what the court described as irreparable damage while justices continue to consider the case against the sanctions.

But in his announcement, Pompeo made clear that the United States would ignore the ruling -simply by scrapping the bilateral treaty with Iran. He also said the court’s decision was outside its jurisdiction and that Iran’s appeals “lacked merit.”