Pompeo vows USA will 'vigorously defend' against Iran court challenge

Pompeo vows USA will 'vigorously defend' against Iran court challenge

Iran opened a lawsuit on Monday demanding the UN's top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), order the suspension of renewed USA sanctions which it says are devastating its economy.

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo described Iran's filing with the ICJ as "an attempt to interfere with the sovereign rights of the US".

Trump's move breaches a 1955 treaty.

They also said the reasons cited by President Trump for reimposing the sanctions were unfounded because the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had repeatedly confirmed that Iran was complying with the terms of the nuclear deal. "This policy is nothing but a naked economic aggression against my country".

Mohsen Mohebi (L), representative of Iran, is pictured during the opening of case between Iran and the United States at the The International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, on August 27, 2018.

Iran on Monday will begin oral arguments in its lawsuit against the United States at the International Court of Justice in the Hague for renewing sanctions after President Donald Trump backed out of a 2015 between the two nations in May.

"Iran will put up the strongest resistance to the USA economic strangulation, by all peaceful means", he added.

The U.S. sanctions target Iran's auto industry, trade in gold and other precious metals, and purchases of U.S. dollars crucial to support its oil exports and other global trade.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Maya Lester, an global sanctions lawyer, said the 1955 treaty between Iran and the USA remains in force, and had been previously invoked by both countries before the worldwide court. They urged the court to order the suspension of the sanctions pending a definitive ruling.

"[America's] focus is on a psychological war against Iran and its business partners", Zarif said.

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"The United States has claimed that the very objective of these measures is to cause maximum damage to Iran".

The hearings - essentially a request by Iran for a provisional ruling - will last four days with a decision to follow within a month.

Iran and the USA have a history of litigation at the International Court of Justice, in cases covering crises including the embassy seizure and the shooting down of an Iranian passenger jet mistaken by a US warship for a fighter jet.

Mr Trump, who took office past year, called it a "horrible one-sided deal" that "failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to a Iranian nuclear bomb".

The sanctions have hit Iran hard, with the country's currency losing much of its value, leading to protests on the streets of many Iranian cities.

Washington aims to force Tehran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups in Syria and Iraq.

Despite the treaty, the two countries have not had diplomatic ties since 1980.

The US and Iran have clashed at the court in the past since they became enemies after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran filed a complaint against Washington in July, saying that by pulling out of the deal, the USA breached the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights signed in 1955.

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