TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran has lodged a complaint with the International Court of Justice against the United States’ reimposition of sanctions, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
The complaint was registered the previous day, spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on the ministry’s website.
The goal is “to hold (the) US accountable for its unlawful re-imposition of unilateral sanctions,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter.
“Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of US contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations. It’s imperative to counter its habit of violating (international) law,” he added.
The complaint came in response to Washington’s decision in May to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran.
Tehran says the action violates international obligations, including the 1955 US-Iran Treaty of Amity — an agreement signed well before Iran’s 1979 revolution, but which is still invoked in ongoing legal battles.
Iran and the US have not had diplomatic relations since 1980, when American embassy officials were held hostage in Tehran.
Nuclear-related sanctions will be reimposed by Washington in two phases in August and November, seeking to bar European and other foreign companies from doing business with Iran and blocking its oil sales abroad.
Iran and the other signatories to the 2015 agreement have been scrambling to preserve the limited trade deals they were able to secure since it was signed.
Zarif addressed world diplomats and Iranian businessmen at a lavish Tehran hotel on Monday night, in a meeting designed as a show of continued mutual support in the face of US aggression.
“This administration in the United States doesn’t know how to behave towards the world… it breaks international treaties as a tool. It is necessary to put a stop to this behaviour,” Zarif said.
Austrian ambassador Stefan Scholz, whose country currently holds the presidency of the European Union, said “unorthodox and innovative measures” were being considered to allow banking transactions to continue after US sanctions return.
“We are all in this together, since the EU is facing a net loss of 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion) in lost trade with Iran next year,” Scholz said.
The ICJ is already due to hear a complaint on October 8 that Iran lodged two years ago against the United States for freezing around $2 billion of its assets held abroad.