UN court says it can hear case brought by Iran against US sanctions

The United Nations’ highest court rules that it can hear a case brought by Iran against the United States in a bid to end sanctions the Trump administration re-imposed in 2018 after pulling out of an international deal aimed at curtailing Tehran’s nuclear program.

Lawyers for the United States argued at hearings last year that the case should be thrown out by the International Court of Justice for lack of jurisdiction and admissibility.

However, the court’s president, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, says that judges rejected US arguments.

In this photo provided by the United Nations, President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, is seen on screens as he addresses the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, September 21, 2020 (Manuel Elías/United Nations via AP)

Iran filed the case in July 2018 a few months after then-US president Donald Trump said he was pulling the US out of a 2015 international agreement over Iran’s nuclear program and would re-impose sanctions on Tehran. Washington also threatened other countries with sanctions if they don’t cut off Iranian oil imports by early November.

In its case, Iran alleges that the sanctions breach a 1955 bilateral agreement known as the Treaty of Amity that regulates and promotes economic and consular ties between the two countries.

The ruling Wednesday comes as new US President Joe Biden is seeking to enhance diplomacy toward Iran while Washington looks at restoring constraints on the country’s nuclear program and reining in its regional ambitions.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed