Iran fights USA sanctions at United Nations court

Airlines scrap Iran flights in a dramatic about-face

The United States vowed to fight Iran before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), calling Tehran's move to question the legality of recently reimposed sanctions an attempt to interfere with its national security.

The United States will "vigorously defend" itself in the International Court of Justice against Iran's challenge to the reimposition of USA sanctions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday.

Iran filed the case with the International Court of Justice in July, claiming.

U.S. lawyers are expected to argue that the United Nations court should not have jurisdiction in the dispute, that the friendship treaty is no longer valid and that the sanctions Washington has levied against Tehran do not violate it anyway.

Zarif also said the nuclear deal has led to political conflict within Iran.

United States lawyers are expected to argue the United Nations court should not have jurisdiction in the dispute, that the friendship treaty is no longer valid, and the sanctions Washington levied against Tehran do not violate the deal.

"This policy is nothing but naked economic aggression against my country", stated Mohsen Mohebi, adviser to the Iranian president.

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.

The Islamic Republic says U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to reimpose sanctions over its nuclear program aims to bring it "to its knees" and are in breach of a 1955 treaty.

Sanctions had been lifted under a 2015 multilateral agreement in return for Iran committing not to pursue nuclear weapons. "The proceedings instituted by Iran are a misuse of the court", said Pompeo.

Iran's lawyers said the sanctions would cause it "irreparable prejudice".

However, the deal came with time limits and did not address Iran's ballistic missile program or its regional policies in Syria and elsewhere.

USA lawyers are due to give their response in arguments before the court on Tuesday, with experts expecting them to challenge the ICJ's jurisdiction. A decision on the urgent request for a suspension is likely to take weeks.

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

Hearings in that case are due to start on October 8.

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".

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 ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and settles legal disputes between member states. Its rulings are binding but it has no power to enforce them, and verdicts have been previously ignored by some countries, including the US.

United States lawyers will reportedly claim that the friendship treaty signed before the Islamic Revolution in 1979 is no longer valid and that the sanctions Washington has levied against Tehran, do not violate it anyway.

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