Iran files suit against USA in International Court of Justice over sanctions

18 July, 2018, 12:41 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addresses economists in Tehran

President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran reached by his predecessor Barack Obama and other world powers, and ordered tough U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear pact with Iran reached by his predecessor Barack Obama and other world powers, and ordered tough USA sanctions on Tehran. The intention was to allow European companies to engage in some business with Iran.

The other countries that reached the nuclear agreement with Iran - the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China - pledged to continue to honour the nuclear agreement to lift economic sanctions in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear program. US sanctions will make Europe's task exceedingly hard, if not impossible.

"We are all in this together, since the European Union is facing a net loss of 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion) in lost trade with Iran next year", Scholz said.

The first person said India should take heart from a statement by USA treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin wherein he talked about making exceptions of the countries that import Iranian crude.

There were no official comments from the Indian and the U.S. side. The actions are extraordinary and aggressive, and point to a desire for regime change in Iran even if that goal is not the explicit policy of the Trump administration. "I don't think India has much of a choice" about not adhering to the sanctions given that opposing the sanctions would cost India, he said.

A State Department official said the application was without merit and the United States would fight it in the court.

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The day-long discussions were led by Marshall Billingslea, assistant secretary for terrorist financing in the USA treasury department on the American side and by officials from the petroleum and foreign ministries on the Indian side, two people familiar with the developments separately confirmed. That sounded like a backtracking from all the talk of taking Iran exports down to "zero". Mnuchin's comments were embargoed for release on Monday, perhaps to coincide with the visit of the United States delegation to Delhi.

"We agreed to keep up the consultations", the person said, describing them as good and free of tensions.

He added: "The State Department has the ability to issue waivers around significant reductions in the oil markets, that's something that Treasury and State will be doing".

Trump has said he asked Saudi Arabia to raise oil production if needed to ensure global oil supplies and the country has 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity.

China, the biggest single importer of Iranian oil at 650,000 bpd according to trade flow data in Thomson Reuters Eikon, may ignore US sanctions and keep importing.

Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have suggested that OPEC+ could provide more than the 1 million barrels per day that they pledged last month, in the event that the oil market needs it. Ports and shipping also come under USA sanctions. Also, the Trump administration is considering options on releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserve, which, again, would seek to offset supplies from disrupted locations around the world. The remaining 45 percent payment was remitted in rupees in accounts Iranian oil companies had with the UCO Bank.

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