The United States has lost in a United Nations court-ruling against Iran, which will result in the termination of a long-lived treaty between the two countries. For years, the United States has imposed heavy sanctions on Iran citing its nuclear weapons program as the reasoning behind this. Recently, the American Secretary of State put the blame on Iran for alleged threats to U.S. troops in Iraq and vowed to close its consulate in Basra, Iraq and withdraw from the 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two countries regarding political and economic rights. This incident occurs as the current U.S. administration is preparing to impose stricter sanctions on the Middle Eastern country in the upcoming weeks. The United Nations’ International Court of Justice gave strict orders to the Trump administration to ensure that any changes or additions to existing sanctions do not cause any negative implications for humanitarian aid or civil aviation operations. The Iranian government has accused the U.S. government of violating the terms of the existing treaty with the newest set of sanctions introduced earlier this year.
While the United States lost in the court ruling, International Court of Justice judges did terminate the Treaty of Amity, a decision which pleases both parties. The Iranian foreign affairs ministry released a statement in response to the ruling stating that “the decision proved once again that the Islamic Republic is right and the U.S. sanctions against people and citizens of our country are illegal and cruel.” American national security adviser John Bolton responded in the press accusing Iran of making a mockery of the Treaty of Amity with its “support of malign behaviour in the Middle East.” The court’s ruling raises concerns within the global community over the possible impacts of the ruling. The treaty, signed over 50 years ago, was essentially a treaty of peace and friendship ensuring reciprocal fair treatment between the two countries. Without the treaty, there will need to be increased supervision of U.S.-Iranian relations as well as Iran’s interactions with other countries in the Middle East to ensure continued peace.
With continued monitoring of the activities of the United States’ sanctions against Iran as well as the impacts and actions of Iran in regards to ongoing conflict, this event can be managed and negative implications for the state of world peace can be negated. Without this, tensions have the potential to rise and contribute to ongoing global conflict by adding fuel to civil war and further supporting grievances of terrorist organizations, among other issues. In addition, if the U.S. seizes this as an opportunity to attempt to bypass the United Nations’ orders by adding sanctions which indirectly affect the livelihood of Iranian citizens, a humanitarian crisis could arise.
This development has the potential to have devastating impacts on world peace, due to the significant roles both the United States and Iran play in the western world and the Middle East, respectively. However, with adequate pressure from the international community, it is a manageable situation which may not escalate to the point of disruption of world peace.
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