UNITED NATIONS (Dispatches) -- Iran’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations says the U.S. administration continues to disregard orders issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which have been handed down in cases filed by Iran against U.S. and vice versa.
Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the remarks in an address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, emphasizing that Iran acknowledges “the vital role of the ICJ in the prevention of hostilities and mitigation of crises through peaceful settlement of disputes as well as in strengthening the rule of law, preserving international order and tackling unilateral measures.”
“Due to adoption of a number of legislative and executive acts in the United States in flagrant violation of international law, the immunity of states and their properties from suit before U.S. courts as well as immunity from jurisdiction and enforcement has been removed against Iran,” he added.
Takht-Ravanchi noted that as a result of the filing of cases in the U.S. courts against Iran as well as its officials and the Central Bank (CBI), “the assets of the CBI have been subjected to execution in order to satisfy a default judgment.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that such asset blocking and enforcement proceedings against the CBI and certain Iranian companies and banks in the U.S. is in violation of provisions of ‘Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights of 1955’ between the two countries,” he added.
Takht-Ravanchi said following the unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the unlawful re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran, Iran filed an application instituting proceedings against the U.S. with regard to violations of multiple provisions of the Treaty of Amity.
He said on October 3, 2018, the ICJ issued an order unanimously requiring the U.S. to remove any impediments on the importation of foodstuffs as well as medicines and medical devices to Iran and also ordered Washington to ensure that the licenses and necessary authorizations are granted and that payments and other transfers of funds are not subject to any restriction in so far as they relate to the aforementioned goods and services.
“Regrettably, the United States has not only failed to comply with the Court’s Order but, by imposing new sanctions, especially during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, has also deliberately defied that Order,” Takht-Ravanchi said.
Iran, he noted, has on several occasions brought the U.S. non-compliance with the Order to the Court’s attention and the answer provided by the U.S. in this regard has always been a repetition of its previous contentions; that humanitarian transactions are exempt from its sanctions.
However, Takht-Ravanchi added, “through tightening the grip of sanctions after the Court’s Order, the U.S. ... violated this Order which requires that ‘Both parties shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve’.”
Tehran has on multiple occasions called on the United Nations court to order the immediate lifting of the sanctions, and demanded compensation for damages incurred in their wake.
Sanctions had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers- the U.S., Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.
Earlier this year, the ICJ ruled that it can take on Iran’s bid to overturn illegal U.S. sanctions re-imposed by former U.S. president Donald Trump after he pulled Washington out of the nuclear deal.
The United States had tried to argue that Iran could not base claims at the ICJ on the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights between the two countries. However, a majority of a panel of 16 judges found the treaty could be used as a basis for the ICJ’s jurisdiction.