Iran goes to UN’s highest court over US sanctions

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Reuters reported that Iranian lawyers argued to judges with the United Nations-affiliated court that the "plainly in violation of the 1955 Treaty of Amity", which was agreed upon as part of an effort to emphasize "friendly relations" and "mutually beneficial trade and investments" between the two nations.

Speaking on August 27 at the start of four days of hearings, a lawyer representing Iran, Mohsen Mohebi, told the court in The Hague that the USA sanctions violate terms of the 1955 treaty signed by the United States and Iran.

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.

Iran on Monday demanded the UN's top court suspend United States nuclear-linked sanctions against Tehran, accusing Washington of plotting its "economic strangulation".

Both airlines re-opened the Tehran route in the wake of the global accord between western powers and Iran, under which crippling economic sanctions on Tehran were lifted after its leaders agreed to roll back the scope of the country's nuclear activities.

In oral arguments in The Hague, Iran's representative Mohsen Mohebi accused Washington of plotting his country's "economic strangulation".

He added: "These unjust and harmful sanctions are destroying the economy and currency of Iran, driving millions of people into poverty and making imported goods unaffordable".

But Trump reimposed unilateral sanctions three weeks ago.

The ICJ is the United Nations tribunal for resolving worldwide disputes. A final decision could take years.

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"The United States is publicly propagating a policy meant to damage as severely as possible Iran's economy and Iranian nationals and companies", Mohebi said.

Pompeo said lawyers would "vigorously defend" the USA and "and we will continue to work with our allies to counter the Iranian regime's destabilizing activities in the region, block their financing of terror, and address Iran's proliferation of ballistic missiles and other advanced weapons systems that threaten global peace and stability".

He said Iran's lawsuit was "an attempt to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take lawful actions, including re-imposition of sanctions, which are necessary to protect our national security".

It has been more than three months since Donald Trump, a long-time critic of the Islamic Republic and the nuclear deal, pulled the United States out of the agreement.

Global companies including France's Total, Peugeot and Renault, and Germany's Siemens and Daimler, have suspended operations in Iran since Trump announced the United States withdrawal from the nuclear deal in May. He said they were needed to ensure Iran never builds a nuclear bomb and to address its continuing missile programme and support for terrorism.

At the time, British Airways Head of Network and Fleet Sean Doyle touted the new flights as a result of the aforementioned agreement and resulting lifting of sanctions.

Air France and British Airways announced Thursday they would halt flights to Tehran next month, saying they were not commercially viable.

The ICJ was set up in 1946 to resolve global disputes.

However, diplomatic relations were severed following the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and takeover of the U.S. Embassy and ensuing hostage crisis.