UPDATED 11:14 AM PT — Tues. August 28, 2018
U.S. lawyers are urging the International Court of Justice to dismiss an Iranian lawsuit calling for U.S. sanctions to be lifted. They are saying Tehran’s real aim is to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement that has been rejected by President Trump.
“This case is entirely about an attempt to compel the United States by order of this court to resume implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action – or JCPOA,” stated Jennifer Newstead, legal adviser for the Department of State.
Iran is arguing U.S. sanctions are hurting its already weak economy and violates a 1955 treaty between the two countries.
“The United States is publicly propagating a policy intended to damage as severely as possible Iran’s economy and Iranian national companies, and therefore inevitably Iranian nationals of course,” said Mohsen Mohebi, international law adviser to the Iranian president.
The State Department’s legal adviser said the reimposed sanctions are legal and a justified national security measure, which cannot be challenged by Tehran.
“The Iranian government can not succeed in shielding itself from responsibility for the consequences of its own threats to international peace and stability as well as to its own people by submission to this court,” Newstead continued.
In 2015, the U.S. and other major world powers lifted sanctions on Iran after it agreed to reduce its nuclear weapons program.
President Trump pulled out of the accord in May, saying it did not do enough to reign in Iranian nuclear ambitions or its aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East.
U.S. lawyers said the disagreements should be resolved through diplomacy and not by the court. A provisional ruling is expected within the coming weeks.
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