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After the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday ruled the Trump administration's sanctions against Iran violate the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "impetuously" declared at a morning press conference that the United States will terminate the decades-old bilateral agreement rather than comply with the United Nations court's order to ease sanctions.
.@SecPompeo: In light of how #Iran has abused the @cij_icj as a form for attacking the United States, I am therefore announcing today that the United States is terminating the Treaty of Amity with Iran. pic.twitter.com/AlPqUswsBC
— Department of State (@StateDept) October 3, 2018
Critics of the move immediately spoke out and warned of potentially dire consequences.
"The 1955 US-Iran treaty provided a tool for resolving disputes when diplomacy failed," noted Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). "Pompeo walking out of it signals that he wants to make sure that disputes with Iran are NOT resolved peacefully."
As Lacie points out, the 1955 US-Iran treaty provided a tool for resolving disputes when diplomacy failed.
Pompeo walking out of it signals that he wants to make sure that disputes with Iran are NOT resolved peacefully.
People, wake up... https://t.co/aGVEHE7Y0A
— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) October 3, 2018
The ruling earlier in the day by the Hague-based court had stated U.S. assurances that the sanctions would not negatively impact humanitarian aid and aviation safety "were not adequate." The decision was welcomed by Iran's Foreign Ministry, which condemned the measures as "illegal and cruel."
Pompeo's announcement that the U.S. is canceling the 1955 agreement—similar to the President Donald Trump's decision to ditch the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year and coupled with reports that Pompeo and Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton are actively working to "foment unrest" in Iran—elicited immediate concerns about future engagement with the country.
"The drums of war are beating," journalist Aaron Rupar warned on Twitter.
"As you can see, Article 1 on the Treaty—'There shall be firm and enduring peace and sincere friendship between the United States of America and Iran'—hasn't aged very well over the years," remarked Foreign Policy reporter Robbie Gramer.
Helpful backgrounder on the treaty of amity that Sec. Pompeo impetuously withdrew from, rather than acknowledge and address serious humanitarian concerns with U.S. sanctions: https://t.co/Y1aq0Pr14o
— Ryan Costello (@RN_Costello) October 3, 2018
During his announcement at the State Department on Wednesday, Pompeo said with a chuckle, "This is a decision, frankly, that is 39 years overdue," an apparent reference to the 1979 Iranian revolution in which the U.S.-backed Shah was overthrown.