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UN’s top court ruling shows anti-Iran sanctions illegitimate

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The Iranian Foreign Ministry has welcomed a ruling by the UN’s top court ordering the US to halt its unilateral sanctions on “humanitarian” supplies to Iran, saying it is a clear sign that the Islamic Republic is in the right.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes the decision made by the International Court of Justice as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and the interim order issued by the court against the US government’s illegal measure to re-instate the unilateral sanctions following this country’s withdrawal from the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

It added that the unanimous decision by the ICJ “is yet another sign that the Islamic Republic of Iran is in the right and the US sanctions against our country’s people and citizens are illegitimate and cruel.”

The UN’s international court of justice on Wednesday reprimanded the US over its re-imposition of sanctions on Iran and ordered Washington to lift restrictive measures linked to humanitarian trade, food, medicine and civil aviation.

According to the verdict, which was read out by Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, Washington “shall remove by means of its choosing any impediments arising from the measures announced on May 8 to the free exportation to Iran of medicines and medical devices, food and agricultural commodities” as well as airplane parts.

The court further said that sanctions on goods “required for humanitarian needs… may have a serious detrimental impact on the health and lives of individuals on the territory of Iran.”

US sanctions on aircraft spare parts also had the “potential to endanger civil aviation safety in Iran and the lives of its users,” it added.

The ICJ’s rulings are binding, but it remains to be seen if the US will comply.

The Hague ruling was announced more than two months after Iran complained to the ICJ in July that US President Donald Trump’s re-imposition of unilateral sanctions against Tehran following Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement was in violation of the Treaty of Amity, a 1955 treaty between Iran and the US.

Iran also argued that the US had violated the terms of the JCPOA, endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, by unilaterally pulling itself out of that agreement. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified on numerous occasions that Iran has abided by the terms of the JCPOA.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry also said in its statement that the ruling showed that the US government is “day by day getting more isolated” due to its “wrong and extreme policies” and its “excessive demands” in dealing with other countries.

It also noted that the US needs to give up its “addiction” to imposing cruel and illegal sanctions against other nations, urging on the international community and independent countries to foil Washington’s attempts to shirk its international obligations and commitments.

“In light of the reaffirmation by the International Court of Justice of the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the confirmation of the illegitimate and illegal approach of the US government, today the world’s public opinion and all independent states are more confident to show their determination to respect international agreements, international law and the responsibility of governments in the preservation and implementation of the JCPOA more than ever,” it added.

In reaction to the ruling, Shabbir Hassanally, an activist and political commentator, told Press TV on Wednesday that the biggest problem was that the US was unlikely to comply by the ruling.

“It is too little too late and the biggest problem that we’ve got is that the ICJ has no means enforcing and compelling America to adhere to this ruling,” he said.

“America is known not to honor any treaty,” he added, noting that if the Americans did honor any agreement, then they would not have pulled out of the JCPOA.

Meanwhile, Kevin Barrett, an author and political commentator, said, “It’s good that the court at least admits there is a problem and the US sanctions are unjust, but the proposed remedies don’t really make much sense.”

“I think that obviously the World Court should be simply saying… that the sanctions are illegal, they are collective punishment and then provide the real remedy, which is simply removing them,” he added.

He also said that the US reaction to the ruling would be most probably snobbish and arrogant.

“The United States has been unbelievably arrogant in the past and now Trump comes in and he says we have nothing to do with any international institutions anymore. Whatever the reaction is, it is guaranteed to be obnoxious, arrogant, it will alienate the world, but whether the world has enough courage to stand up against such arrogance is another question,” he said.

Meanwhile, the US criticized the top UN court’s decision ordering Washington to ease sanctions on Iran, saying the case was “meritless” and the court had “no jurisdiction.”

“This is a meritless case over which the court has no jurisdiction,” US Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra tweeted, shortly after ruling was announced.

Hoekstra downplayed the ruling, saying it was “a narrow decision on a very limited range of sectors.”

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