In a lawsuit filed against the United States, Iran claims that the sanctions imposed upon them in May violate the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights. Reuters reports that the State Department feels Iran’s suit lacks merit and that the United States planned to fight the lawsuit.
The 1955 treaty states that there will be peace and friendship between the U.S. and Iran and encourages trade and investments. Iran alleges that President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear treaty that former President Obama developed violated the 1955 agreement, which was signed by President Eisenhower and Iranian Prime Minister Hossein Ala. The Treaty of Amity, however, was signed prior to the Iranian revolution which saw the U.S.-allied shah removed and marked the start of tense relations between Iran and the United States.
A State Department official who spoke anonymously to Reuters stated, “While we cannot comment on the specifics, Iran’s application is baseless and we intend to vigorously defend the United States before the ICJ.”
Iran filed the lawsuit with the International Court of Justice, based in the Hague. It is also known as the “World Court,” and acts as a tribunal for the United Nations to “resolve international disputes.”
“Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of U.S. contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday.
The 2015 agreement “ordered tough U.S. sanctions on Tehran.” Another condition of the treaty was that Iran had to “rein in its disputed nuclear program under U.N. monitoring.” If they did so, then several international sanctions would be removed as a result.
But President Trump has hinted that it wants “a new deal with Iran that would cover the Islamic Republic’s regional military activities and ballistic missile program.” He announced his decision to exit the treaty in May. Other nations who signed the deal, including France and China, are still committed to the 2015 deal.
Iran has stated that it is not interested in making a deal regarding their military activities and missile program.
Iran’s next step will be to attend a hearing with the International Court of Justice and the United States, who will likely oppose the hearing and the lawsuit, and try to determine whether the suit should have a “provisional ruling.” Though there is no official date set for the hearing, it may take several weeks for it to occur. The International Court of Justice is expected to make a decision within the next few months.