On Wednesday, the U.N’s International Court of Justice ordered the United States to lift some of its sanctions which were imposed on Iran for “humanitarian reasons.” The ruling mandates that the US shall no longer restrict exports to Iran of food, medicines, and parts and services to ensure civil aviation safety.
The court said sanctions on goods “required for humanitarian needs… may have a serious detrimental impact on the health and lives of individuals on the territory of Iran.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the court ruling “another failure for sanctions-addicted U.S government and victory for rule of law. It vindicates the Islamic Republic of Iran and confirms the illegitimacy and oppressiveness” of the United States.
President Donald Trump slapped the first round of sanctions in August after he pulled out from the 2015 international deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions in May. A second round of stringent sanctions is due to roll out in November.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said withdrawing from the 1955 Treaty of Amity was long overdue and followed Iran “groundlessly” bringing the complaint to the U.N. court.
He also said that the administration would push through with sanctions enforcement with existing exceptions for humanitarian and flight safety transactions.
“The United States has been actively engaged on these issues without regard to any proceeding before the ICJ,” he said.
Although the court ruling is binding the United States is unlikely to follow the decision since ICJ has no mechanism through which it can force Washington to comply.
Shortly after a ruling at the International Court of Justice, U.S ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra tweeted, “This is a meritless case over which the court has no jurisdiction. Even so, it is worth noting that the Court declined today to grant the sweeping measures requested by Iran. Instead, the Court issued a narrow decision on a very limited range of sectors.”