The UN’s top court ruled on Wednesday that it can hear a case brought by Iran against the US over sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.
In 2018, after the Trump administration violated the 2015 nuclear deal by reimposing sanctions on Iran, the Islamic Republic filed a lawsuit against the US with the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The lawsuit aims to have US sanctions on Iran lifted.
Iran says that US sanctions violate the 1955 Treaty of Amity, a little-known agreement between the US and Iran that established friendship and economic ties between the two countries in the wake of the 1953 CIA-orchestrated coup.
In a preliminary ruling in 2018, the ICJ said that the US should remove any sanctions that impede the flow of food, medical supplies, and agricultural goods to and from Iran. The Trump administration responded by withdrawing from the Treaty of Amity.
Last year, lawyers for the US said the case should be thrown out, arguing that it was not in the ICJ’s jurisdiction. But on Wednesday, the ICJ said that the court has jurisdiction to “entertain the application filed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the court’s ruling was “another legal victory for Iran.” The US State Department said it was “disappointed” with the ICJ’s decision.
As a candidate, President Biden said he would work with Iran to lift sanctions and revive the 2015 nuclear deal. But so far, all the crippling economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration remain, and the new administration doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to lift them.