Iran’s case against United States sanctions opens at top United Nations court

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"The current U.S. Administration is pushing the sanctions to their maximum with the sole aim of bringing Iran to its knees", Iran's lawyers said in the court filing.

Zarif also said the nuclear deal has led to political conflict within Iran.

The BA route was reinstated in the wake of the 2015 accord between western powers and Iran under which most global sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs on the country's nuclear program. In May, Trump went back on the deal and re-imposed sanctions.

A second round of measures is to come into effect in early November, targeting Iran's valuable oil and energy sector.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Maya Lester, an global sanctions lawyer, said the 1955 treaty between Iran and the United States remains in force, and had been previously invoked by both countries before the worldwide court.

"The proceedings instituted by Iran are a misuse of the Court", he said later on Monday.

He added: "These unjust and harmful sanctions are destroying the economy and currency of Iran, driving millions of people into poverty and making imported goods unaffordable".

But Mr Trump said the deal "failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb" and did not deal with Tehran's "malign activities, including its ballistic missile programme and its support for terrorism".

Hearings in that case are due to start on October 8.

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The renewed United States sanctions on Iran have already caused an economic breakdown and a plummeting in the value of the rial.

U.S. lawyers are due to give their response in arguments before the court on Tuesday, with experts expecting them to challenge the ICJ's jurisdiction.

Major EU companies, including France's Total, Peugeot, and Renault, and Germany's Siemens and Daimler, have suspended operations in Iran following the introduction of sanctions.

"The reimposition of sanctions against Iran after the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, which had been unanimously adopted by the Security Council with the support of the USA itself, lays bare the illegitimacy of this action", Jazairy said in a statement.

The ICJ - set up in 1946 to rule in disputes between countries - is expected to take a couple of months to decide whether to grant Tehran's request for a provisional ruling, while a final decision in the case may actually still take years.

Air France and British Airways announced Thursday they would halt flights to Tehran next month, saying they were not commercially viable.

The flagship airlines did not put the blame on the return of USA sanctions directly for their decisions but said that the route is "not commercially viable".

The ICJ was set up in 1946 to resolve global disputes.

Iran maintained restoring the penalties lifted under the historic 2015 deal, aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear ambitions, violated a decades-old treaty signed between the two nations in 1955. Its rulings are binding but it has no power to enforce them, and verdicts have been previously ignored by some countries, including the US.

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