08/24/2018, 00.00
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Tehran brings US to trial over sanctions at UN court

The first hearing scheduled for 27 August. For Iran, the measures adopted by Trump violate a 1955 treaty between the two nations. But judges will need months to decide and a final sentence could take in years. UN Special Rapporteur: sanctions are illegitimate, unjust and harmful.

Teheran (AsiaNews) - With the first hearing scheduled for 27 August, the legal proceedings initiated by Iran against the United States in the International Court of Justice (ICJ, also known as the International Court in The Hague) will open. According to Tehran, the decision taken in May by Washington to impose new sanctions, the toughest sanctions in history , after pulling out (the JCPOA) violates a 1955 treaty between the two nations.

After abandoning the pact unilaterally, President Trump ratified the introduction of the first part of new sanctions, while in November the second blockade aimed at eliminating the sale of gas and oil in the Islamic Republic should enter into force. Hence the choice last month to apply to the international court.

The aim is to have the punitive measures canceled and to protect its domestic economy, in crisis after the positive signs registered in recent years. The US sanctions, in fact, aim to isolate the Islamic Republic from the rest of the world and block all forms of trade already in place with Europe and other strategic partners of Tehran, such as China and Russia.

The ICJ should take a couple of months to decide whether to comply with Iran's demands and arrive at a provisional ruling; however, it may take several years for a final decision of the case. Although the Hague court is the highest tribunal of the United Nations and its decisions are binding, it has no power to enforce them and several countries, including the United States itself, have ignored its provisions in the past.

Meanwhile, a senior UN official, also intervened in the controversy related to the sanctions calling them illegitimate, unjust and harmful.

The punitive measures, underlined by the UN special rapporteur Idriss Jairairy in a statement published in Geneva, must be justified and not to strike innocent people or, worse still, to trigger an economic war. As for the sanctions against Iran, Jazairy continues, the illegitimacy "has been confirmed by the opposition of all the other permanent members of the Security Council and of all the international partners".

These have warned that the sanctions destroy "the economy and the currency of Iran, pushing millions of people into poverty" and making it almost impossible to import humanitarian goods. The senior UN official concludes by appealing to the United States to allow the entry of agricultural raw materials, food, medicines, and medical devices into Iran.

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