The Debate - UN Court Anti-Iran Ruling

Members of the International Court of Justice conduct a hearing on alleged violations of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between Iran and the United States Aug. 27 2018

US ordered to lift sanctions on 'humanitarian' goods

The International Court of Justice ruled that the Trump Administration must lift all sanctions which have an impact on the import of humanitarian goods and products as well as services linked to the safety of civil aviation.

The UN's top court ruled this morning that the U.S. should lift sanctions on Iranian "humanitarian" goods.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) released a statement on Wednesday applauding Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for withdrawing the United States from the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran.

Diplomatic relations were severed following Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979 and the takeover of the US Embassy and ensuing hostage crisis. He said that Iran was abusing the International Court of Justice for political and propaganda purposes.

The court order issued on Wednesday was temporary, pending a resolution of Iran's full lawsuit against Washington at the ICJ, something that could take years.

The ruling earlier in the day by the Hague-based court had stated US assurances that the sanctions would not negatively impact humanitarian aid and aviation safety "were not adequate".

Bolton, who last month unleashed a torrent of criticism against the International Criminal Court, noted that previous Republican administrations had pulled out of various international agreements and bodies over "politicized cases".

It further called on both countries to "refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the court or make it more hard to resolve".

The court's decision is binding, but it has no power to enforce it.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had claimed the sanctions amounted to "psychological warfare", meant to bring about regime change.

Iran filed the case in July, after President Trump withdrew the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - the Iran nuclear deal that was reached in 2015 along with members of the U.N. Security Council, Germany and the European Union.

The U.N. atomic energy agency, which is in charge of monitoring the agreement, has reported Iran is in compliance.

The 2015 accord saw the Islamic Republic limit its controversial nuclear activities in return for relief from global sanctions.

In their ruling, the 15-strong panel of judges unanimously dismissed U.S. objections that the court had no jurisdiction.

On May 8, Trump exited the US from the historic deal to the dismay of Washington's European allies and slapped the first round of sanctions on Iran in August.

Negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump argues that the 2015 Iran deal gave Tehran money to support extremist groups and build nuclear-capable missiles.

The little-known treaty, signed in August 1955 - roughly two years after the US-sponsored coup against Iran's first democratically elected government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh - stipulates that issues pertaining to both countries' bilateral relations fall under the ICJ's jurisdiction.

Hours later, during the White House news conference, National Security Advisor John Bolton announced the USA is withdrawing from yet another treaty with Iran made before the United Nation's court - a court which Bolton says is ineffective.

Pompeo said Wednesday that the US has already made clear that there will be humanitarian exceptions to the sanctions.

The Trump administration walked back its commitment to two worldwide agreements Wednesday, withdrawing from a 63-year-old friendship treaty with Iran and limiting its exposure to decisions by the global Court of Justice.

The US president says he hated the deal as it did not address Iran's alleged wider meddling in the Middle East.

The other parties to the deal - the UK, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation - have pledged to abide by their commitments under the existing deal.

"Our European partners ... have chosen to remain in the Iran nuclear deal", Bolton said.

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