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.