Iran goes to UN’s highest court over United States sanctions

Airlines scrap Iran flights in a dramatic about-face

People walk toward the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the Netherlands, Monday Aug. 27, 2018.

Iranian lawyers are asking the International Court of Justice to order the United States to lift sanctions ordered by the Trump administration against Tehran on Monday.

Members of the International Court of Justice attend a hearing for alleged violations of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between Iran and the USA, at the International Court in The Hague, Netherlands August 27, 2018.

Trump's decision to withdraw from the accord has hurt the United States, Zarif said, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA).

However, whether any decision will be implemented remains unclear, with both Iran and the United States in the past ignoring ICJ rulings against them. He called Trump's sanctions policy "nothing but a naked economic aggression against my country".

Iran's currency the rial has lost around half its value since April.

President Donald Trump said in May that he would pull the USA out of a 2015 agreement over Iran's nuclear program and would re-impose sanctions on Tehran.

Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, brokered when Barack Obama was still in the White House, imposed restrictions on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program in return for the lifting of most US and global sanctions against Tehran.

Further U.S. sanctions are due to go into effect in November specifically targeting Iran's banking sector and oil industry, which drives growth in the Iranian economy.

That year it brought a suit at the ICJ against the freezing of around $2 billion of Iranian assets overseas which United States courts say should go to American victims of terror attacks.

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Sanctions had been lifted under a 2015 multilateral agreement in return for Iran committing not to pursue nuclear weapons.

The ICJ is expected to take a couple of months to decide whether to grant Tehran's request for a provisional ruling.

But Mr Trump said the deal "failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb" and did not deal with Tehran's "malign activities, including its ballistic missile programme and its support for terrorism".

Global companies including French oil firm Total and Germany's Siemens have suspended operations in Iran since Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal in May.

The ICJ president Abdulqawi Yusuf heads a 15-judge panel hearing Iran's case.

European leaders, including Britain's Theresa May and France's Emmanuel Macron, have been fighting to keep the deal alive, but are struggling to save it from collapse in light of the fresh sanctions. A final decision could take years.

Air France and British Airways announced Thursday they would halt flights to Tehran next month, saying they were not commercially viable.

The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and settles legal disputes between member states.

The ICJ has ruled previously that the treaty is valid even though it was signed before the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, which saw the US-backed Shah overthrown and heralded four decades of hostility between the two countries.

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