Morning Canary – US Rejects UN ICJ Order; Ends 1955 Treat with Iran

Canary. Photo by 4028mdk09.

“THE HAGUE — The United Nations’ top court on Wednesday ordered the United States to lift sanctions on “humanitarian” goods to Iran that President Donald Trump re-imposed after pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal” CBS News reported Wednesday.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) 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.

CBS News; October 3, 2018

The court cited that needs of the humanitarian goods listed “may have a serious detrimental impact on lives” and that the aircraft parts sanctions could “endanger civil aviation safety…”

You can read the ICJ summary here.

In July, the New York Times reported, Iran sued the United States at the ICJ after President Trump withdrew the US from the Obama 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May as a “strategy to nullify the nuclear sanctions reimposed by President Trump, which are already starting to inflict pain on Iran’s already troubled economy,” under the basis of the 1955 Amity Treaty signed between Iran and the United States.

Iran accused the US of violating the treaty, alleging the sanctions were “unfounded because the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had repeatedly confirmed the Iran was complying with the terms of the 2015 nuclear accord signed by Tehran and six world powers,” the BBC reported

The International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, said in a statement on Tuesday that the lawsuit was based on a treaty signed by Iran and the United States more than a half-century ago — well before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the American-backed shah and ushered in the prolonged estrangement in relations between the countries.

New York Times; July 17, 2018

In response the the ICJ’s order on Wednesday, the Trump Administration responded with Trump Administration’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcing the United States was withdrawing from the 1955 Amity Treaty with Iran, saying, “this is a decision, frankly, that is 39 years overdue.”

Department of State
Mike Pompeo
Oct. 3, 2018

Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton also announced on Wednesday, in a White House Press briefing, that while the ICJ “was a defeat for Iran and correctly rejected nearly all of Iran’s requests, but we are disappointed that the ICJ failed to recognize that it has no jurisdiction to issue any order with respect to sanctions the United States imposes…” adding that the court allowed Iran to use it for “propaganda” as the Iranian regime continues to pursue a policy of hostility towards the US that “defames the central premise of the Treaty of Amity.”

Bolton goes on to say he is announcing “in addition the Treaty of Amity” that “the President has decided that the United States will withdrawal from the optional protocol on dispute resolution to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” adding that this was in connection with a case brought by the “so-called state of Palestine naming the United States as the defendant, challenging our move of our Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem…”

Bolton’s remarks begin at the 1:50 mark.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is a UN body of 15 judges and “is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in June 1945 by the Charter of the United Nations and began work in April 1946,” and while its decisions are binding they have no means to enforce their rulings.

The AP further reports that in early November, a second, “more sweeping set of sanctions, is set to be reimposed” on Iran.

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