UPDATE 2 – US axes 1955 treaty with Iran

ADDS REMARKS; BACKGROUND ON EU EFFORT TO CIRCUMVENT SANCTIONS

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday the U.S. is terminating the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran, after Tehran took Washington to the UN's principal court for alleged violations of the international pact.

"Iran is attempting to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take the lawful actions necessary to protect our national security, and Iran is abusing the ICJ for political and propaganda purposes," he told reporters at the State Department, referring to the International Court of Justice. "Their case, as you can see from the decision, lacked merit."

The treaty, which was signed in Tehran, established consular and economic relations between the U.S. and Iran. It entered into force in 1957 after being ratified that same year.

Pompeo said Iran has been ignoring the treaty for "an awfully long time," and Washington "ought to have pulled out of it decades ago."

The U.S. and Iran severed diplomatic ties following Iran's 1979 revolution, but the treaty remained in effect.

Earlier Wednesday, the UN's top court ordered the U.S. to lift sanctions on Iran that might hurt imports of humanitarian goods or services or adversely affect the safety of civil aviation.

The U.S. must “remove, by means of its choosing, any impediments arising from” the re-imposition of sanctions on medicines and medical devices, foodstuffs and agricultural commodities, and spare parts, equipment, and associated services needed for the safety of civil aviation, the court ruled.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hailed the ruling on Twitter, saying it is “another failure for sanctions-addicted USG [U.S. government] and victory for rule of law. Imperative for int’l community to collectively counter malign US unilateralism.”

But Pompeo said the U.S. is "disappointed that the court failed to recognize that it has no jurisdiction to issue any order relating to these sanctions measures with the United States, which is doing its work on Iran to protect its own essential security interests."

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from a 2015 landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations — the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany.

Trump began to reinstate U.S. sanctions on Tehran in August, with sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector set to retake effect Nov. 4.

Ahead of the economic penalties, the six parties remaining in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran — announced the creation of a "Special Purpose Vehicle," which is intended to facilitate financial transactions with Iran allowed under the nuclear pact.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the system, which will be set up by EU member states, will allow "European companies to continue trade with Iran."

She said the financial mechanism "could be open to other partners in the world."

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UPDATE – US axes 1955 treaty with Iran

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday the U.S. is terminating the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran, after Tehran took Washington to the UN's principal court for alleged violations of the international pact.

"Iran is attempting to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take the lawful actions necessary to protect our national security, and Iran is abusing the ICJ for political and propaganda purposes," he told reporters at the State Department, referring to the International Court of Justice. "Their case, as you can see from the decision, lacked merit."

Earlier Wednesday, the UN's top court ordered the U.S. to lift sanctions on Iran that might hurt imports of humanitarian goods or services or adversely affect the safety of civil aviation.

The U.S. must “remove, by means of its choosing, any impediments arising from” the re-imposition of sanctions on medicines and medical devices, foodstuffs and agricultural commodities, and spare parts, equipment, and associated services needed for the safety of civil aviation, the court ruled.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hailed the ruling on Twitter, saying it is “another failure for sanctions-addicted USG [U.S. government] and victory for rule of law. Imperative for int’l community to collectively counter malign US unilateralism.”

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew Washington from a 2015 landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations — the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany.

Trump began to reinstate U.S. sanctions on Tehran in August, with sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector set to retake effect Nov. 4.

The Treaty of Amity, which was signed in Tehran, governs consular and economic relations between the U.S. and Iran. It entered into force in 1957 after being ratified that same year.

US axes 1955 treaty with Iran

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday the U.S. is terminating the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran, after Tehran took Washington to the UN's principal court for alleged violations of the international pact.

"Iran is attempting to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take the lawful actions necessary to protect our national security, and Iran is abusing the ICJ for political and propaganda purposes," he told reporters at the State Department, referring to the International Court of Justice. "Their case, as you can see from the decision, lacked merit."

The treaty, which was signed in Tehran, governs consular and economic relations between the U.S. and Iran. It entered into force in 1957 after being ratified that same year.

Palestine takes US to ICJ over Jerusalem embassy move

By Lubaba Thuqan

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – The Palestinian Authority has lodged a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the U.S. move to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian foreign minister.

“After fulfilling the required conditions to file a lawsuit against the U.S., the case has been officially delivered to the [ICJ] registry,” Riyad al-Malki said in a statement on Saturday.

The minister emphasized that a message was delivered to the U.S. Department of State in May as a part of preamble procedures before filing a lawsuit at the ICJ.

The U.S. refrained from officially responding to the message in which the Palestinian Authority requested the U.S. not to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, he said.

The filed lawsuit challenges the U.S. motion on the basis of violating Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and U.S. Security Council resolutions.

"We defend our rights and our people without hesitation, rejecting all forms of political and financial extortion," al-Malki said.

In December, U.S. President Donald Trump sparked international outcry when he unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocated the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in May.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

UPDATE – Iran applies to UN court against US sanctions

ADDS STATEMENT OF US SECRETARY OF STATE

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – Iran on Monday asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order the U.S. to lift sanctions against Tehran.

The lawsuit said U.S. President Donald Trump's decision allegedly violated the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights between Tehran and Washington.

The oral hearings will last for four days and the U.S. will present its case on Tuesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday called the suit "an attempt to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take lawful actions, including re-imposition of sanctions, which are necessary to protect our national security."

"The proceedings instituted by Iran are a misuse of the Court," Pompeo said in a statement.

Trump elicited Iran's furor in May when he unilaterally pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear accord the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany struck with Iran.

The deal saw Tehran accept unprecedented curbs and inspections on its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

The first round of sanctions, largely targeting Iran's banking sector, took effect Aug. 6. A second, more robust wave of oil-related sanctions is set to snap back Nov. 4.

*Michael Hernandez contributed to this report from Washington

Iran applies to UN court against US sanctions

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – Iran on Monday asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order the U.S. to lift sanctions against Tehran.

The lawsuit said U.S. President Donald Trump's decision allegedly violated the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights between Tehran and Washington.

The oral hearings will last for four days and the U.S. will present its case on Tuesday.

Trump elicited Iran's furor in May when he unilaterally pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear accord the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany struck with Iran.

The deal saw Tehran accept unprecedented curbs and inspections on its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

The first round of sanctions, largely targeting Iran's banking sector, took effect Aug. 6. A second, more robust wave of oil-related sanctions is set to snap back Nov. 4.

Palestinians to take Trump’s ‘Deal of Century’ to ICJ

By Qais Abu Samra

JERICHO, Palestine (AA) – The Palestinians will take a U.S.-proposed “Deal of the Century” — ostensibly aimed at resolving the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict – to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), a senior official of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said Monday.

“We seek to get an ICJ endorsement that this plan runs counter to international legitimacy resolutions that East Jerusalem is an occupied territory,” Saeb Erekat, a member of PLO Executive Committee, told Anadolu Agency.

Erekat, however, did not specify the exact date of going to the ICJ over the issue.

The Palestinian leadership "is working based on an integrated plan to respond to Trump’s decision.”

The term "Deal of the Century" refers to a back-channel U.S. plan to decisively settle the perennial Palestine-Israel dispute.

On Jan. 21, Anadolu Agency revealed details of the plan, which calls for annexing the whole city of Jerusalem and major settlement blocs to Israel in return for establishing a demilitarized Palestinian state.

The plan also calls for making the 12,000-dweller West Bank village of Abu Dis, which borders Jerusalem, as the capital of a future Palestinian state instead of East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in 1967, which Palestinians hope that the city might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

The proposed plan also calls for the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, keeping territorial water and airspace under Israeli control and reaching a “just solution” to the issue of Palestinian refugees.

The plan came amid a worldwide outcry over a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump last month to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.