Iranian FM praises UN court’s rebuff of US objections in sanctions case

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hails an interim ruling by the United Nations’ top court rebuffing Washington’s claim that the tribunal lacks jurisdiction to judge a lawsuit filed by Tehran against illegal US sanctions.

“Another legal victory for Iran,” Zarif tweeted Wednesday, adding that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) “dismissed all US preliminary objections in the case brought by Iran over unlawful US sanctions.”

The @CIJ_ICJ just dismissed all US preliminary objections in the case brought by Iran over unlawful US sanctions.

Another legal victory for Iran following 3 Oct. ’18 Order.

Iran has always fully respected int’l law. High time for the US to live up to 𝙞𝙩𝙨 int’l obligations.

— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) February 3, 2021

The court issued the ruling earlier in the day, unanimously refuting several of the jurisdiction-related objections that had been brought up by the US. Concerning the rest of the objections, Washington managed to secure only one favorable vote against 15 negative ones.

Zarif described Wednesday’s decision by the court as “another legal victory for Iran following 3 Oct. ’18 Order” by the ICJ.

“Iran has always fully respected int’l law. High time for the US to live up to its int’l obligations,” Zarif concluded.

Announcing the ICJ’s ruling, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the decision against the US’s objections had helped advance Iran’s lawsuit. Now, the court’s addressing of the case would enter a new stage, he added.

As part of this new stage, he added, the court could also address Washington’s refusal so far to heed its October 3, 2018 ruling for it to suspend the sanctions.

The spokesman, meanwhile, said the Wednesday decision marked “the rightfulness of Iran’s demands.”

Tehran lodged a complaint against the US with the ICJ three years ago when former president Donald Trump withdrew the US from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and restored the sanctions, saying Washington breached the Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations signed by the two countries in 1955.

Trump had abandoned the deal despite its multilateral nature and the fact that it has been endorsed as a UN Security Council resolution.

Iran brought the lawsuit before the ICJ in 2018, strongly protesting the strictly illegal nature of Washington’s withdrawal from the deal, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).