ICJ judgement on US Iran sanctions welcomed

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has welcomed the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering the United States of America (USA) to ensure that sanctions against Iran do not affect humanitarian aid and civil aviation safety.

On Wednesday, the ICJ -- the principal judicial organ of the United Nations -- ordered the US to remove any impediments to the free exportation to Iran of goods required for humanitarian assistance, as well as goods and services required for the safety of civil aviation

Following its decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5 + 1 and Iran, the USA re-imposed sanctions against Iran, which had been lifted as a result of the JCPOA.

“South Africa has previously expressed its concern on the decision by the United States Government to withdraw from the JCPOA,” DIRCO said.

The department said South Africa continues to maintain that the JCPOA was a major achievement for multilateral diplomacy and the peaceful resolution of conflict.

“South Africa reiterates that the unravelling of the JCPOA could have unintended consequences for all parties involved and the broader international community. South Africa once again calls on all parties of the JCPOA to continue to honour their commitments under the agreement.”

The ruling came after the Iranian government on 16 July 2018 instituted proceedings against the USA regarding alleged violations of the Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights. On the same day, the ICJ said in a statement, Iran also submitted a request for the indication of provisional measures, seeking to preserve its rights under the 1955 Treaty pending the court’s final decision on the case.

The move came after US President Donald Trump on 8 May 2018 issued a National Security Presidential Memorandum announcing the end of the participation of the United States in the JCPOA. – SAnews.gov.za