International Court of Justice Orders U.S. to Lift Iran Sanctions Linked to Humanitarian Goods, Civil Aviation

U.S. asked to block sanctions related to the export to Iran of medicine and medical devices, food and agricultural commodities and spare parts and equipment necessary to ensure the safety of civil aviation

File photo: An IranAir plane at Tehran's Mehrabad International Airport.
Bloomberg

The United Nations’ highest court has ordered the United States to lift sanctions on Iran that affect imports of humanitarian goods and products and services linked to the safety of civil aviation.

President Donald Trump moved to restore tough U.S. sanctions in May after withdrawing from Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers. Iran challenged the sanctions in a case filed in July at the International Court of Justice.

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In a preliminary ruling in the case, the court said Wednesday that Washington must “remove, by means of its choosing, any impediments arising from” the re-imposition of sanctions to the export to Iran of medicine and medical devices, food and agricultural commodities and spare parts and equipment necessary to ensure the safety of civil aviation.

The U.S. is expected to challenge the court’s jurisdiction in a future hearing. Iran welcomed on Wednesday a ruling of the World Court, the highest United Nations tribunal, that ordered the United States to ensure that sanctions against Tehran do not impact humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety. 

Judges enter the International Court of Justice, or World Court, in The Hague, Netherlands, October 3, 2018.
Peter Dejong/אי־פי

"The decision proved once again that the Islamic Republic is right and the U.S. sanctions against people and citizens of our country are illegal and cruel," the foreign ministry said in a statement published on Tasnim news agency and state media.