The International Court of Justice (ICJ) began hearing a lawsuit Monday filed by the Islamic Republic of Iran against the United States in July for re-imposing sanctions against Tehran following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on May 8.
“Iran’s filing with the ICJ is an attempt to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take lawful actions, including re-imposition of sanctions, which are necessary to protect our national security,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote in a statement. “The proceedings instituted by Iran are a misuse of the Court.”
Pompeo added, “Iran brought the case last month to challenge the U.S. decision to cease participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and to reimpose the sanctions that were suspended as part of that deal.”
He explained that President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA because “it failed to guarantee the safety of the American people from the risk created by Iran’s leaders.” He added:
We will vigorously defend against Iran’s meritless claims this week in The Hague, and we will continue to work with our allies to counter the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities in the region, block their financing of terror, and address Iran’s proliferation of ballistic missiles and other advanced weapons systems that threaten international peace and stability. We will also ensure Iran has no path to a nuclear weapon – not now, not ever. The United States stands with the Iranian people who are longing for a country of economic opportunity, government transparency, and freedom from oppression.
Following America’s withdrawal from the nuclear pact orchestrated under the administration of former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran scrambled to get the remaining five signatories to the deal to save the remnants of the JCPOA. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the package proposed by the UK, Germany, and France was “disappointing.”
Iran also turned to China, the nation’s largest trading partner, to save the nuclear deal.
Iran’s Fars News Agency claimed that, on July 8, the Iranian parliament’s research center prepared a comprehensive “active anti-sanctions plan,” edited at least seven times, that includes a detailed list of policies and seeks to make Iran “unsanctionable.”
Fars noted that “the plan also entails specific time-based nuclear, security and political leverages that would be enforced in reprisal for enemy threats, while it also envisages transient waivers that could be extended, halted or annulled based on relevant decisions by authorities.”
Last month, Iran’s special envoy Ali Akbar Velayati said Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Kremlin plans to invest up to $50 billion in Iran’s oil and gas sector and said Russian firms could replace Western oil companies that have left or are leaving Iran to comply with Trump’s demands that nations stop importing Iranian oil by November 4. Nations that do not comply could face sanctions.