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World Court hears Iran lawsuit to have US sanctions lifted

Iranian lawyers asked the International Court of Justice on Monday to order the United States to lift sanctions imposed by the Trump administration against Tehran, but Washington described the suit as meritless.
At the start of a week of hearings in The Hague, the court’s president asked the United States to respect the outcome of the case that Iran filed in July. During their decades of animosity, both countries have ignored some rulings at the court.
Tehran’s suit says the US sanctions, which are damaging the already weak Iranian economy, violate terms of a little-known friendship treaty between the two countries.
“The US is publicly propagating a policy intended to damage as severely as possible Iran’s economy and Iranian national companies, and therefore inevitably Iranian nationals,” said Mohsen Mohebi, representing Iran. “This policy is plainly in violation of the 1955 Treaty of Amity.”
He said Iran had sought a diplomatic solution to the countries’ dispute but was rejected.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described Iran’s suit as “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”.
“We will vigorously defend against Iran’s meritless claims this week in The Hague,” he said in a statement.
A ruling is expected within a month, though no date has been set.
The ICJ is the United Nations tribunal for resolving international disputes. Its rulings are binding, but it has no power to enforce them.
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