Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said on Tuesday that the US has imposed unlawful sanctions against Iran using coercive measures as an instrument of its foreign policy throughout the past years.
Addressing a meeting of the UN General Assembly on 'Report of the International Court of Justice ', he added that its unacceptable behavior has continued unabated and even intensified following its withdrawal from the JCPOA, targeting, directly or indirectly, Iranian companies and Iranian nationals.
He said: "The International Court of Justice has a pivotal role in the recognition and application of international law through its judicial work. The consensual basis of the Court’s jurisdiction is not a deficiency rather, in fact, it is the strength of the Court which upholds the rule of law in international legal order at the core of which is the sovereign equality of States as one of the fundamental principles of international law. This is why the Court’s jurisdiction to provide advisory opinions is reserved for legal questions of general international law and not for bilateral disputes. The Islamic Republic of Iran has always believed in the authority and integrity of the Court and considers it as an important means for the peaceful resolution of the disputes between States.
The United States of America, using coercive measures as an instrument of its foreign policy throughout the past years, has imposed unlawful sanctions against Iran. Its unacceptable behavior has continued unabated and even intensified following its withdrawal from the JCPOA, targeting, directly or indirectly, Iranian companies and Iranian nationals with the intention of increasing the pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran and limiting, more than ever, its ability to engage in free trade with other countries and to create uncertainty for all actors who would wish to have any economic relationship with Iran. The US President has brazenly announced that “sanctions will go into full effect” in order to reach their “highest level” and create for Iran “bigger problems than it has ever had before."
In response to those wrongful acts carried out in contravention of the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights of 1955, the UN Charter and international law, the Islamic Republic of Iran instituted proceedings against the United States in the International Court of Justice on 16 July 2018 and, at the same time, in view of the urgency and the risk of irreparable prejudice to its rights, including irreparable economic and social damages, requested the Court to indicate provisional measures.
On 3 October 2018, the Court issued an Order for provisional measures unanimously requiring the United States to remove any impediments on the importation of foodstuff and agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices, as well as spare parts, equipment and services necessary for the safety of civil aviation. It also ordered the United States to ensure that the licenses and necessary authorizations for the aforementioned good and services are granted and that payments and other transfers of funds are not subject to any restriction.
Regrettably, the United States has not only failed to comply with the Court’s Order but, by imposing new rounds of sanctions, has also deliberately defied that order. It is noteworthy that the Court, in Paragraph 100 of its Order, reaffirmed that its “orders on provisional measures have binding effect and thus create international legal obligations for any party to whom the provisional measures are addressed”. Needless to say, the non-compliance of the United States entails its international responsibility.
In this context, Member States are expected, in line with the Court’s order and Security Council Resolution 2231 to stand against the US’ lawless policy of intimidation and pressure. Any action to the contrary would amount to disregarding the Court’s Order and tantamount to providing assistance to the transgressor.
Recently, in flagrant violation of the Court’s Order, the U.S. has intensified its pressures on the Iranian people in the midst of the pandemic outbreak, therefore exacerbating the situation with the intention to deprive Iran of accessing medicines, equipment and resources, which are much needed to effectively combat the deadly virus. To give one example amongst many, one can refer to the recent decision of the United States to sanction, in violation of the provisional Order of the Court, numerous Iranian banks, making it more difficult than ever for the Iranian financial system to conduct transactions even in humanitarian-related areas.
As a result, the Islamic Republic of Iran, in more than one case, has brought this non-compliance to the Court’s attention. The answer provided by the United States in this regard has always been the repetition of its previous contentions that it has been bound by the Order and that humanitarian transactions are exempt from its sanctions- the claim which is simply pure fabrication and false.
Moreover, through tightening the grip of sanctions which is an essential element of its so-called maximum pressure campaign against my Country, the U.S. has violated the Court’s order for provisional measures which require that “both parties shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to solve”. The United States has deliberately moved in a completely different direction than the Court has ordered.
To challenge the application of the Islamic Republic of Iran in a preliminary phase, the United States has resorted to erroneous objections. The Islamic Republic of Iran, in its observations and submissions as well as in the sessions of oral proceedings, has showed the invalidity of these arguments which can be considered abusive in some cases as they have been previously rejected by the Court on numerous occasions.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is party to another case with the United States of America, a case which was brought to the Court because of the adoption by the USA of a series of measures that, in violation of the Treaty of Amity have had, or are having a serious adverse impact upon the ability of Iran and of Iranian companies to exercise their rights to control and enjoy their property, including the confiscation of the money belonging to the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the judgments of the US courts. Rejecting the objections made by the United States, in 2019 the Court held that it had jurisdiction over the case and the application of the Islamic Republic of Iran was admissible. At the moment, the Islamic Republic of Iran has submitted its reply to the counter-memorial of the United States. In conclusion, let me, once again, emphasize the unparalleled importance of the Court in clarifying, recognizing and developing the rules of international law."