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International Court of Justice Ruling on US imposed Sanctions on Iran

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Iran is one of the world’s biggest oil producers, and the exporter of oil and gas is worth billions of dollars each year.

To understand the complex international situation which is causing barriers in the international relation not only between the US and Iran; but the countries having public relation as well as business relations with Iran i.e. European Union, Asian countries including India, we need to look at the origin and cause of dispute.

History of Sanction

The sanctions imposed by the US Government is not a new topic but has been continuing since Jimmy Carter’s government (1977-81) in 1979, he started with the ban on import of Iranian oil and $12 Billion of Iran’s Assets in U.S. following the attack on US embassy in Tehran. With time and change in political system U.S, Ronald Reagan (1981-89), Bill Clinton (1993-2001), George W. Bush (2001-09), Barack Obama (2009-17), and presently Donald Trump (2017-present), has imposed multiple sanctions and ban on trade, imports, institution and Companies from Iran, also banning the Central Bank of Iran, the currency of Iran, the banks doing business with Iranian banks and companies/institution.

Presently the Trump Government has imposes fresh round of Sanctions on trade with Iran and has planned to be impose tougher sanctions on import of oil from Iran in early November 2018.

 The Iran Nuclear Deal 2015

In 2015, after long 9 years of talk, the IRAN Nuclear deal was done as for the nuclear use, and its control/ the nuclear programme, with the P5+1 Countries. The P5 are the UN Security Council Members (U.S., U.K., China, France, Russia and Germany).

The Deal was made under the conditions that as the stockpile’s level of enrichment of Uranium are kept under control at 3.67%, and quantity of Uranium stockpile to be reduced from 10,000 kg to 300kg that is reduced by 97%, that should not be exceeded until 2031.

And it allows international inspectors to check the use and working of the uranium.

The Iranian didn’t make the deal for nothing; they got the support from US, UK and other European nation to save it crippling economy from the drains. It also restricts countries like US to make economic sanctions which helps Iran’s draining economy, and allow it to have trade and business relations with the world. This helped the people of Iran for creating economy.

By January 2016, Iran had drastically reduced the number of centrifuges installed at Natanz and Fordo, and shipped tonnes of low-enriched uranium to Russia.

Presently under the leadership of Donald Trump, he has openly showed his dislike for the middle-east with the travel ban made in January 2017 barred people from seven majority- Muslim Countries including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya from entering the US for 90 days. The US government also openly criticized the Iran’s ballistic missile programme, human rights violation, as well as Iran’s influence in the region.

India having ties with both US and Iran for Trade and Public relations would be badly affected if the sanctions continue, as India having export trade to the US and import of Oil from Iran. India imports it 80 % of the oil need from the OPEC countries, and due the fluctuation in the international market and political condition, the domestic market is directly affected.

India has also planed for an Undersea Iran-India gas pipeline, which could bring cheaper LNG to India. This project is also under threat as due to the US sanctions on Trade and Commerce with Iran. But there are discussion going on with both the nations as working for the mutual benefit and growth. India is trying to get an exception as in the sanction and desires to trade with both the nations.

In May 2018, USA withdrew from the Nuclear Deal of 2015 made by P5+1 Countries.

Iran filled a case against US in the International Court of Justice. US terminated the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran; the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that this was overdue for last 39 years. He also said that Iran had brought a “meritless case” to the ICJ.

The termination came after the United Nation’s top court ordered the US to lift the sanctions on “Humanitarian” goods to Iran. The court said that Washington “shall remove by means of its choosing any impediments arising from the measures announced on May 8 to the free exportation to Iran of medicines and medical devices, food and agricultural commodities” as well as airplane parts, Judge Ahmed Yusuf wrote.

The case was filled at the ICJ in July 2018, as arguing the violation of the treaty of Amity, 1955. The treaty was made for Economic relations and Consular Rights between Iran and the US.

On the 3rd day of October, 2018 the International Court of Justice has given its ruling on the case filled by Iran on the Sanctions imposed by the US government. The ICJ had sided with Iran and has ordered the US government to suspend its imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The major areas including medicines, food and aircraft spare parts.

Priyam Kamra
Student Reporter, INBA

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