An international court ruling, seen as a symbolic victory for Iran, has triggered the U.S. to take immediate action. The Trump administration is pulling out of a 1955 agreement with Tehran after the United Nations’ top court ordered the U.S. to lift sanctions on humanitarian goods to Iran.
While the ruling is binding, the court has no power to enforce its decision.
CGTN White House correspondent Jessica Stone filed this report from Washington, D.C.
Tensions are rising between Tehran and Washington as U.S. officials pressure Iran diplomatically and financially. Last week, the U.S. pulled its diplomats from Basra after its outpost was attacked.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blames Iran.
“Our intelligence in this regard is solid. We can see the hand of the ayatollah and his henchmen supporting these attacks on the United States,” Pompeo said.
Today’s @CIJ_ICJ ruling was a defeat for #Iran, which has hypocritically and groundlessly abused the court as a forum for attacking the U.S. In light of this, I am announcing that the U.S. is terminating the Treaty of Amity w/ Iran — this is a decision that is 39 years overdue. pic.twitter.com/Cd7yRkd0go
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 3, 2018
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif denied Iran had anything to do with those attacks in an interview with CGTN’s Asieh Namdar.
“In Basra, our consulate was burned to the ground three weeks ago. We did not leave, we established a new consulate and it is up and running two days after the previous consulate was burned down,” Zarif said. “Should we blame anybody for that?”
Then on Wednesday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Washington to lift sanctions on Iran’s imports meant for humanitarian use.
“The measures adopted by the United States have the potential to endanger civil aviation safety in Iran and the lives of its users,” said Presiding Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf of the ICJ.
The U.S. is already granting sanctions exceptions for humanitarian and flight safety transactions. Now it’s also withdrawing from a decades-old treaty that set up economic relations with Iran. The relationship between the two countries is souring by the day.
“Iran is attempting to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take lawful actions necessary to protect our national security,” Pompeo said. “Iran is abusing the ICJ for political and propaganda purposes.”
Zarif, accusing Washington of unilateralism, called the ruling evidence of a failure for the sanction-addicted U.S. government and a victory for rule of law.
The ICJ decision comes one month before the Trump administration has pledged to impose another round of sanctions on Iran. That’s when the country’s oil industry will likely be targeted.
Sanctions will kick back in on November 4th. Pompeo has already begun to shore up alliances with Gulf Cooperation Council allies and Iraq’s new president in a flurry of meetings and phone calls late Wednesday.