The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered the US to ease sanctions it re-imposed on Iran after pulling out a nuclear deal last year. Siding with Tehran, it said exports of “humanitarian” goods, such as food and medicines, should be allowed.
President Donald Trump in May reimposed tough sanctions after pulling the United States out of a landmark 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program. Iran challenged the measure in a case filed in July at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
In an October 3 preliminary ruling in the case, the ICJ said Washington must “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.
Sanctions on goods “required for humanitarian needs…may have a serious detrimental impact on the health and lives of individuals on the territory of Iran,” Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said.
U.S. sanctions on aircraft spare parts also had the “potential to endanger civil aviation safety in Iran and the lives of its users,” Yusuf said.
The ICJ rules on disputes between UN member states. Its decisions are binding and cannot be appealed, but it has no mechanism to enforce them.
Washington is expected to challenge the ICJ’s jurisdiction in a future hearing.