Iran Took Its US Gripes to UN Court, Scored Victory

A preliminary one, at least
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 3, 2018 7:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – The United Nations' highest court on Wednesday ordered the United States to lift specific sanctions on Iran. The ruling by the International Court of Justice is legally binding, but it remains to be seen if the Trump administration will comply. President Trump moved to restore tough US sanctions in May after withdrawing from Tehran's nuclear accord with world powers. Iran challenged the sanctions in a case filed in July at the International Court of Justice. In a preliminary ruling, the court said that Washington must "remove, by means of its choosing, any impediments arising from" the re-imposition of sanctions to the export to Iran of medicine and medical devices, food and agricultural commodities, and spare parts and equipment necessary to ensure the safety of civil aviation, reports the AP.

In its decision, the court said that the US sanctions "have the potential to endanger civil aviation safety" in Iran and that sanctions limiting sales of goods required for humanitarian needs such as food, medicines, and medical devices "may have a serious detrimental impact on the health and lives of individuals on the territory of Iran." While imposing the so-called "provisional measures," the court's president, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, stressed that the case will continue and the United States could still challenge the court's jurisdiction, which it is expected to do in a future hearing. US lawyers in August argued the sanctions are a legal and justified national security measure that cannot be challenged by Tehran at the world court.

(Read more Iran stories.)

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