THE HAGUE: The United States criticised a top UN court decision on Wednesday ordering Washington to ease sanctions on Iran, saying the case was "meritless" and the court had "no jurisdiction".
The court Wednesday ordered the United States to lift sanctions on “humanitarian” goods to Iran that President Donald Trump reimposed after pulling out of Tehran’s nuclear deal.
"This is a meritless case over which the court has no jurisdiction," US ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra tweeted, shortly after a ruling at the International Court of Justice.
But Hoekstra pointed out that the Hague-based tribunal "declined to grant the sweeping measures requested by Iran" and it was "a narrow decision on a very limited range of sectors."
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) unanimously ruled 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 Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said.
The court said 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.”
US sanctions on aircraft spare parts also had the “potential to endanger civil aviation safety in Iran and the lives of its users.”
Trump slapped a first round of sanctions on Iran in August after pulling out in May of a historic deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, in a move welcomed by many Arab countries. A second round of punitive measures is due in November.
The ICJ rules on disputes between United Nations member states. Its decisions are binding and cannot be appealed, but it has no mechanism to enforce them.