ICJ Asserts Validity of “Treaty of Amity”, Thereby Marking A Legal Victory for Iran

ICJ Asserts Validity of “Treaty of Amity”, Thereby Marking A Legal Victory for Iran

Netherlands: On Wednesday, October 3, the principle judicial organ of the United Nations asserted the constitutional validity of the Treaty of Amity and thereby, issued a directive to the United States, ordering the State to ease sanctions against Iran, including the one pertaining to the supply of humanitarian goods and safety of civil aviation.

Earlier, Tehran had filed a petition in response to which the Court issued the present directive. The plea was made pursuant to President Trump’s announcement in May, wherein he stated that the U.S. will withdraw from the 2015 International Nuclear Agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In 1995, Iran and the U.S entered into a Treaty of Amity, which as per International law is still valid. The Treaty emphasized on building and encouraging mutual trade relations and investments between the States.

The top Court observed that the U.S. had violated the terms of the Treaty by withdrawing from the JCPOA. The U.S. has been instructed to refrain from further contravention and moreover, instructed to comply with its obligations pertaining to the Treaty.

Alireza Jahangiri, the Iranian Ambassador proclaimed that the decision of the UN top Court was a legal victory for Iran. He also added that it was imperative that the U.S. abides by the terms of the nuclear deal and thereby, functions in accordance with the international agreements.

Bahman Keshavarz, former head of the National Union of Iranian Court Attorneys, commended the successful performance by the legal team of the Iranian Government before the ICJ. 

A senior political scientist, Davoud Hermidas-Bavand, seconded the thoughts of the Iranian Ambassador and observed that the U.S. advocacy against Iran was foiled by the ICJ decision.

It has also been claimed that the order will further facilitate Iran’s cooperation with the European Countries. Furthermore, the ruling is said to assist Iran become more successful in International diplomacy.

Although, the directive does not resolve all the problems of Iran. However, it does provide a certain amount of relief and future opportunities for the State at International level. The ICJ ruling shall qualify the European Countries to provide to Iran medicines and spare parts of airplanes.  

The U.S. displeased by the ICJ ruling, immediately through the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced the withdrawal of Washington from the Treaty of Amity. However, their withdraw will not have any effect on the ruling, said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs, Gholam-Hossein Dehqani.

The withdrawal was termed as an “outlaw regime” by the Trump Administration, said Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

It is pertinent to note that, in complete disagreement with the ICJ ruling, the U.S. rejected the order on the ground that the U.S. sanctions allows exemptions for exports of humanitarian and civil aviation supplies to Iran, stating that the protections in those aspects are already in place.

The U.S. has sought abandonment of the “optional protocol” under the UN's Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and a 63-year old "amity treaty" with Iran. With this move, it is apparent that the Trump Administration focuses on sovereignty over multilateralism. This has led to deepening worries among Western allies over Trump’s disparagement of international institutions.