Zahra Ershadi made the remarks in a statement before the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly on Agenda Item 70 “Report of the International Court of Justice” in New York on October 27.
“Regrettably, the United States has so far failed to comply with the Court’s Order, and moreover, by imposing new rounds of sanctions, especially during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, deliberately violated its obligation to comply with that Order. It is noteworthy that 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’. The failure to comply with Court’s Orders is common in the US’ practice toward violating and ignoring the Court’s rulings,” the ambassador noted.
Below is the full text of Ershadi’s statement:
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, and would like to add the following in its national capacity.
We would also like to appreciate the President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Joan E. Donoghue, for her report on the Court’s activities while commending the Court’s efforts to uphold the rule of law at the international level.
As the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the ICJ can play a prominent role in the international community, not only in fostering the sound administration of justice, but also the peaceful settlement of inter-state disputes in contentious cases, which ultimately results in the prevention of hostilities and mitigation of crises. The Islamic Republic of Iran reaffirms its commitment to strengthen and support the ICJ to discharge its duty of pacific settlement of disputes submitted to it within the confines of its jurisdiction.
It should be emphasized that the consensual basis of the Court’s jurisdiction is not only the cornerstone of the activities of the ICJ, but also underlies the activities of other international judicial bodies. Notwithstanding that said, the Islamic Republic of Iran is of the view that Article 36(3) of the Charter provides a legal basis for the Court to act, if and only if both parties explicitly declare their consent.
It is worth mentioning the Court’s judgment dated 3 February 2006 in Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (New Application: 2002) (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Rwanda) that “the mere fact that rights and obligations erga omnes or peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens) are at issue in a dispute cannot in itself constitute an exception to the principle that its jurisdiction always depends on the consent of the parties” (paragraph 125).
My delegation reiterates its support for the legal-judicial diplomacy as a determinative apparatus in international relations in strengthening the rule of law, preserving international order and tackling unilateral and arrogant actions in international relations. Based on these understandings and beliefs, the Islamic Republic of Iran has during past six years filed two contentious cases before the ICJ that are currently pending, which I would like to briefly touch upon them:
Due to adoption of a number of legislative, executive and judicial measures in the United States in flagrant violations of principles of general international law and lex specialis, the immunity from jurisdiction and enforcement have been removed against Iran and certain Iranian entities, and the separate juridical status of Iranian state-owned companies has been undermined. This has led to the filing of cases against the Islamic Republic of Iran, certain Iranian entities and companies and State officials in the U.S. courts as well as blocking Iranian assets including those of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). Thereupon, the assets of certain Iranian entities and State-owned companies inter alia the CBI assets approximately $1.8 billion USD were subjected to execution in order to satisfy a default judgment against the I.R. of Iran. Nevertheless, in light of the illegal nature of the US’ legislative, executive and judicial policy against a sovereign State, its entities, companies and their properties, my delegation firmly believes such asset blocking and enforcement proceedings against the CBI and certain other Iranian companies and banks in the U.S. is in violation of multiple provisions of the “Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights of 1955”. In February 2019, the Court found its jurisdiction to rule on the Application of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the case concerning “Certain Iranian Assets” (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America). The hearings on the merits was conducted from 19th till 23rd September 2022. The case is currently under deliberation.
Allow me to refer to the other Case. Following the unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. from the JCPOA and the unlawful decision of that State to re-impose in full effect and enforce a series of Unilateral Coercive and restrictive measures targeting, directly or indirectly, Iran and Iranian companies and nationals, contrary to its obligations under the 1955 Treaty of Amity, the Islamic Republic of Iran filed an Application instituting proceedings against the United States with regard to a dispute concerning violations of multiple provisions of the Treaty of Amity.
At the same time, the Islamic Republic of Iran requested the Court to indicate provisional measures. Thereafter, the Court issued an Order on provisional measures unanimously requiring the United States to remove any impediments on the importation of foodstuffs and agricultural commodities, medicines and medical devices as well as spare parts, equipment and associated services necessary for the safety of civil aviation. It also ordered the United States to ensure that the licenses and necessary authorizations are granted and that payments and other transfers of funds are not subject to any restriction in so far as they relate to the aforementioned goods and services.
Regrettably, the United States has so far failed to comply with the Court’s Order, and moreover, by imposing new rounds of sanctions, especially during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, deliberately violated its obligation to comply with that Order. It is noteworthy that 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”. The failure to comply with Court’s Orders is common in the U.S.’ practice toward violating and ignoring the Courts rulings.
As a result, the Islamic Republic of Iran, has brought the U.S. non-compliance with the Order to the Court’s attention on several occasions. Needless to say, the US’ continuance of the non-compliance of this Order entails its international responsibility. That said, Iran welcomes the Court’s initiative to amend the Resolution concerning the Internal Judicial Practice of the Court by adding the new Article 11 for the purpose of monitoring the implementation of provisional measures through an ad hoc committee. In the same vein, Iran legitimately and respectfully expects that the ad hoc committee would facilitate the implementation of the Court’s Order on PM in the pending case.
The Court has rejected the preliminary objections raised by the United States, and held that it has jurisdiction to entertain the Application filed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and that the Said Application is admissible. The United States has filed its Counter-Memorial and the Islamic Republic of Iran is preparing its Reply which should be filed on 21 December 2022.
In conclusion Mr. President, let me, once again, re-emphasize the utmost importance of the Court’s role in clarifying, recognizing, crystalizing and developing the rules of international law, ultimately contributing to the maintenance of international peace and security through peaceful settlement of inter-state disputes and preserving international legal order.
I thank you, Mr. President.
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