Iran urges ICJ to block US sanctions
© WikiMedia (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
Iran urges ICJ to block US sanctions

The International Court of Justice [official website] heard oral arguments [text, partially in French, pdf] from Iran’s legal counsel on Monday in a lawsuit filed by Iran allegint that US sanctions violate the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights. Oral arguments from the US are expected on Tuesday.

Iran argues that the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) [Official website] has stated that Iran is meeting its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Iran claims that the US decision to impose the sanctions has been justified using fabricated evidence and ignoring contrary reports and that the sanctions are nothing more than economic aggression towards Iran.

The 1955 Treaty [text, PDF] requires the US to accord fair and equitable treatment to Iranian nationals and companies and to their property and enterprises and to ensure that the lawful contractual rights of Iranian nationals and companies are afforded effective means of enforcement. The treaty also prohibits unreasonable or discriminatory measures that would impair the legally acquired rights and interests of Iranian nationals and companies.

Many banks and companies have withdrawn from Iran due to threats from the US. The US has stated that companies who work in Iran would not be able to complete business in the US. The sanctions put current contracts in the energy, shipping and shipbuilding, and automotive sections of Iran’s economy at risk of not being completed.

The lawsuit [JURIST report] from Iran was filed with the ICJ in July. Sanctions against Iran have been issued by the United States in May and August [JURIST reports] in response to the US withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also commonly referred to as the Iran Nuclear Deal). Last week UN Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy called the sanctions illegitimate [JURIST report].