U.S. 'strangling' Iran with sanctions, top United Nations court told


Iran filed the case with the International Court of Justice in July, claiming that sanctions the Trump administration imposed on May 8 breach a 1955 bilateral agreement known as the Treaty of Amity that regulates economic and consular ties between the two countries.

"The U.S.is publicly propagating a policy meant to damage as severely as possible Iran's economy and Iranian national companies, and therefore inevitably Iranian nationals", Mohsen Mohebi, an attorney representing Iran, told the court.

Iranian lawyer Mohsen Mohebi said the usa aimed to damage Iran's economy "as severely as possible" and had violated a little-known 1955 friendship treaty.

At Monday's hearings, Tehran asked judges to urgently order a suspension of the sanctions while the case challenging their legality is being heard - a process that can take years.

Recently, National Security Adviser John Bolton, a fierce critic of Iran, promised to hit Tehran with more sanctions. He called Trump's sanctions policy "nothing but a naked economic aggression against my country".

In a court filing at the ICJ, Iran's lawyers said the USA sanctions threaten tens of billions of dollars' worth of business deals with foreign companies.

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The ICJ is the United Nations tribunal for resolving global disputes.

Mr Trump, who took office previous 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 United States rejection of the nuclear deal is not backed by some key allies. A decision on the urgent request for a suspension is likely to take weeks.

He said sanctions are already having damaging effects on Iran's economy and society and threaten to further destabilize the volatile Mideast. The freefall of rial's value against foreign currencies has not affected most of these Iranians, who are payed in dollars, euros, or pounds.

In a court filing at the ICJ, Iran's lawyers said the United States sanctions threaten tens of billions of dollars' worth of business deals with foreign companies.

Trump said in May that he would pull the United States out of a 2015 agreement over Iran's nuclear program and would re-impose sanctions on Tehran.

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A raft of worldwide companies - including France's Total, Peugeot and Renault, and Germany's Siemens and Daimler - have suspended operations in Iran in the wake of the move.

Both British Airways and Air France announced the dates of their final outbound flights of September 22 and September 17, respectively, with the returns the following day. The British carrier added however that the decision was unrelated to the fresh sanctions.

Trump said the sanctions would turn up the financial pressure on Tehran to come to a "comprehensive and lasting solution" regarding its activities such as its "ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism".

Earlier this month, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appeared to rule out any immediate prospect of talks, saying "there will be neither war, nor negotiations", with the US.

The U.S. previously said it does not acknowledge the court's jurisdiction regarding the case.

The ICJ is the United Nations tribunal for resolving worldwide disputes.

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However, diplomatic relations were severed following the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and takeover of the U.S. Embassy and ensuing hostage crisis.