President Hassan Rouhani announced that Tehran will pursue legal action against US officials who imposed sanctions on Iran, adding that the dispute could be brought before an international court.
The Iranian president said that he had ordered the ministries of foreign affairs and justice to “file a legal case in Iranian courts against those in America who designed and imposed sanctions on Iran.”
Describing the unilaterally imposed sanctions as a “crime against humanity,” Rouhani said that if Iranian courts believe there is a strong case against Washington, Tehran would then pursue the legal challenge in international courts of justice. He said that the United States is seeking to “come back to Iran and rule the nation again.”
While dragging US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before an Iranian court may be far-fetched, Tehran has had past success arguing against US sanctions on the international stage. In October, the International Court Of Justice (ICJ) ordered the United States to ensure that its sanctions do not target humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety.
Washington re-imposed sanctions on Tehran after US President Donald Trump decided in May to abandon the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran. Trump’s decision to back out of the deal – which was negotiated with five other world powers – has strained relations between Washington and its European allies, who are now looking to bypass the US-imposed sanctions.
In February, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that despite the US withdrawal from the 2015 accord, Iran was still in full compliance with its commitments towards non-proliferation.
Iran has scoffed at Washington’s stated aim of reducing the country’s oil exports to “zero,” and has repeatedly warned that it is prepared to take military action to protect its oil tankers from US interference.