Pompeo: We will defend ourselves against Iran's claims

Secretary of State says United States will "vigorously defend" itself against Iran's challenge in the International Court of Justice.

Ben Ariel ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

The United States will "vigorously defend" itself in the International Court of Justice against Iran's challenge to the re-imposition of sanctions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday, according to AFP.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague on Monday began hearing arguments on a petition filed by the Iranian government against the economic sanctions imposed by the United States.

The petition, filed last month, alleges that Washington’s decision in May to impose sanctions after pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal violates a 1955 treaty between the two countries.

"We will vigorously defend against Iran's meritless claims this week in The Hague," Pompeo said later on Monday.

He said Iran's filing with the International Court of Justice was "an attempt to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take lawful actions, including re-imposition of sanctions, which are necessary to protect our national security.

"The proceedings instituted by Iran are a misuse of the court," he contended, according to AFP.

President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal in May, and recently signed an executive order officially reinstating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The sanctions target Iran's access to American dollars and steel and automobile industries, ban trade with Iran in gold and other precious metals, and include other sanctions which were lifted under the 2015 deal.

Additional sanctions will be imposed on November 4, targeting Iran's oil and shipping industries.

In oral arguments in The Hague on Monday, Iran's representative Mohsen Mohebi accused Washington of plotting his country's "economic strangulation."

Pompeo countered, "President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA for a simple reason: it failed to guarantee the safety of the American people from the risk created by Iran´s leaders."

The European signatories to the deal did not agree with Trump’s decision to leave the deal and have been trying to save the accord, which they see as crucial to forestalling an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Tehran has demanded that Europe come up with an economic package to offset the effects of the U.S. withdrawal but so far has found Europe’s proposals to be unsatisfactory.