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Statement on Agenda Item 74: “Report of the International Court of Justice”

Statement by

H.E Gholam Ali Khoshroo , Ambassador and Permanent Representative of

The Islamic Republic of Iran

before the 73th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

on Agenda Item 74:

Report of the International Court of Justice

New York, 25 October 2018


In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


At the outset, my delegation would like to thank the President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, for the presentation of the Court’s detailed report on its judicial activities over the past year, contained in document A/73/4. We also take this opportunity to commend the judges and all members of the Court for their unwavering commitment and sense of duty in upholding the rule of law at the international level.  I would like to align myself with the statement delivered on behalf of the NAM. 


Mr. President,

In recent years, the importance of the rule of law in international relations has been recognized on an increasingly frequent basis by the international community of States. One of the primary goals of the United Nations, as stated in the Preamble of the Charter, is to establish conditions under which justice and respect for international obligations can be maintained. The Court, as the principle judicial organ of the UN, has authority and influence that cannot be replaced or matched by other UN organs or even other international judicial bodies. Its role is critical in the peaceful settlement of international disputes and in preserving international legal order as well as common interests of the international community of States as a whole.

Mr. President,


          One of the key achievements of multilateral diplomacy at the international level was the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015 between Iran and the P5 + 1 which has been endorsed by Security Council resolution 2231, adopted under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter. The Security Council resolution 2231 underlines, “promoting and facilitating the development of normal economic and trade contacts and cooperation with Iran” and calls upon all Member States to support the implementation of the JCPOA. It is so tragic that the US, a Permanent Member of the Security Council, now punishing and threatening sovereign states not because of violating, but for being abided by a Security Council Resolution.

          The Islamic Republic of Iran has demonstrated its good faith through the adoption and implementation of the JCPOA in a manner so as to bring about the recurrent approval of compliance by the IAEA despite insufficient cooperation on the part of some participants to the instrument. Against this backdrop, the US, on 8 May 2018, unilaterally withdrew from the instrument in blatant disregard for good faith and in violation of the Security Council resolution 2231, declaring its intention to impose “the strongest sanction regime” in the history. Needless to say, these sanctions are illegal and run counter to well-established principles as enshrined in the UN Charter and as accepted by the community of nations such as the sovereign equality of States, non-intervention and non-interference in internal affairs of Member States and freedom of international trade and navigation. In addition, the imposed sanctions contravene certain provisions of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights. 


To legally and effectively counter this arrogant policy of infringing rules of international law, the Islamic Republic of Iran, on 16 July 2018, filed an application together, with a request for Provisional Measures to the International Court of Justice, to protect its rights under the bilateral Treaty of Amity between the two countries, which were infringed as the result of re-imposition of sanctions previously lifted under the JCPOA.


Earlier this month, on 3 October, the Court unanimously indicated provisional measures and specified that the United States is obliged, in accordance with its obligations under the 1955 Treaty of Amity, to remove any impediments arising from the measures announced following its withdrawal from the JCPOA, to the free exportation to the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran in certain domains. In its ruling, the Court has also obliged the United States to ensure that it will issue the relevant licenses and grant the necessary authorizations for the goods and services related to the specified items in the Order and that payments and other transfers of funds will not be subject to any restrictions.


In this regard, I would like to underline the following points, with respect to the indicated provisional measures:


1-   The Court’s unanimous Order was a clear testament to the illegality of the United States’ sanctions against our country and its people, at least in the specified areas.


2-   The Court, in Paragraph 100 of its Order, reaffirmed that its “orders on provisional measures have binding effect” and, thus, create international legal obligations for any party to whom the provisional measures are addressed. Therefore, the US is under an obligation to comply with the Order of provisional measures as indicated by the Court, and any non-compliance therewith will entail its international responsibility.


3-   The Court considered that certain rights of Iran under the 1955 Treaty invoked in these proceedings that it has found plausible are of such a nature that disregard of them may entail irreparable consequences.  The Court indicated that the measures adopted by the United States have the potential to endanger civil aviation safety. Moreover, they may have a serious detrimental impact on the health and lives of individuals within the territory of Iran. There is no doubt that the aforementioned Order could play an important role in preventing irreparable harm by US acts to the rights of Iran and Iranians under the Treaty of Amity, while this case is under consideration before the court.



4-    In its provisional measure, the Court indicated an additional measure directed to the Parties to the dispute with a view to preventing the aggravation or extension of the dispute.  Thus, the US, as the Party imposing unilateral sanctions against Iran, is under an obligation to refrain from any action that might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it difficult to solve.  We maintain that the imminent implementation of an additional set of sanctions by the United States scheduled for after 4 November 2018 would certainly lay in the scope of prohibited acts with an aggravating effect on the dispute at hand and would categorize as illegal wrongful acts contrary to the Court’s dictum.


5-    We note the letter dated 4 October 2018 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council transmitting a copy of Court’s order indicating the above-mentioned provisional measures. We also recall Article 94 of the UN Charter which stipulates “Each Member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice in any case to which it is a party”. Therefore, we call upon the US to implement the provisional measure, including refraining from measures such as wrongful sanctions which will aggravate the disputes.


6-    Moreover, to help preserve the primary role of the International Court of Justice as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, other States are also expected to refrain from assisting the US from imposing any impediments in transactions involving specified items, which would amount to violation of the Court’s Order and would be tantamount to providing assistance to the wrongdoer.


Let me conclude by reaffirming that the Islamic Republic of Iran acknowledges the importance that the international community attaches to the work of the International Court of Justice, especially at a time of ever-increasing challenges in our today’s interdependent and globalized world. 

I thank you, Mr. President.


18:22 - 29/10/2018    /    Number : 542394    /    Show Count : 130


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