Published: Tue, August 28, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Iran asks UN's highest court to suspend US sanctions

Iran asks UN's highest court to suspend US sanctions

"This policy is nothing but a naked economic aggression against my country", Mohebi told the court.

"Iran will put up the strongest resistance to the United States economic strangulation, by all peaceful means".

Iran opened a lawsuit Monday demanding the U.N.'s top court order the suspension of renewed USA sanctions which it says are devastating its economy.

His team of lawyers told the court in The Hague that the measures were already devastating Iran's economy and threatening the welfare of its citizens.

The US will respond formally in oral arguments on Tuesday, reportedly arguing that the United Nations court should not have jurisdiction in the dispute.

The US had no right to reinstate such measures, Tehran added, as it demanded compensation for damages.

On Sunday, Iran's parliament voted to dismiss Finance Minister Masoud Karbasian over his failure to address the country's economic woes.

Some U.S. allies oppose the sanctions and are seeking to keep the nuclear deal alive. In a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, Mr Rouhani said Tehran expected the remaining partners to act quickly to preserve the agreement.

Tehran filed its case before the International Court of Justice in late July, calling on the Hague-based tribunal's judges to order the immediate lifting of sanctions, which it said would cause "irreparable prejudice".

The lawsuit filed with the ICJ, also known as the World Court, says the USA sanctions, which are damaging its already weak economy, violate terms of a little-known 1955 friendship treaty between the two countries.

Hearings in that case are due to start on October 8. A decision on the urgent request for a suspension is likely to take weeks.

The 2015 deal was signed by Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany.

Trump says the sanctions are needed to ensure Iran never builds a nuclear bomb.

"The publicly propagating a policy meant to damage as severely as possible Iran's economy and Iranian national companies, and therefore inevitably Iranian nationals", he said.

The sanctions have hit Iran hard, with the country's currency losing much of its value, leading to protests on the streets of many Iranian cities.

European companies including France's Total, Peugeot and Renault, and Germany's Siemens and Daimler, have suspended operations in Iran after the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal.

Both Air France and British Airways announced Thursday they were halt flights to Tehran next month, saying they were not commercially viable, but the British carrier added the decision was unrelated to the new tranche of sanctions.

The flagship airlines did not put the blame on the return of USA sanctions directly for their decisions but said that the route is "not commercially viable".

The US has vowed to "vigorously defend" itself against Iran's "baseless" lawsuit.

Business and leisure travel to Iran picked up in the wake of a 2015 Iran nuclear deal aka Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that saw some sanctions relaxed in return for Tehran agreeing to curb its nuclear program.

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