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Iran hails UN court sanctions ruling as 'victory'

By AFP - Feb 04,2021 - Last updated at Mar 01,2021

TEHRAN — Iran's top diplomat hailed as a "victory" a ruling Wednesday by the UN's top court that it is allowed to take on his country's bid to overturn US sanctions.

"Another legal victory for Iran," Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted, adding that the International Court of Justice "dismissed all US preliminary objections in the case brought by Iran over unlawful US sanctions."

Tehran dragged the United States to the ICJ three years ago, saying Washington breached a 1955 friendship treaty between the two countries.

Then-president Donald Trump reimposed US sanctions in 2018 after pulling out of a landmark nuclear deal with Iran and world powers, which limited Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for international sanctions relief.

In the same year, the ICJ ordered the US to ease sanctions on humanitarian goods, and Washington responded by formally ending the 1955 "Treaty of Amity".

Washington also had said the Hague-based ICJ did not have jurisdiction and must throw out the case, while arguing the sanctions were necessary because Tehran posed a "grave threat" to international security.

But judges at the court rejected all of the US objections.

ICJ President Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said the tribunal “finds consequently that it has jurisdiction.... to entertain the application filed by the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

A final ruling in the sanctions row could still be months or even years away.

“Iran has always fully respected int’l law. High time for the US to live up to its int’l obligations,” Zarif said.

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