U.S. 'strangling' Iran with sanctions, top United Nations court told

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attend a meeting in Vienna Austria

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The lawsuit filed with the ICJ, also known as the World Court, says the USA sanctions, which are damaging its already weak economy, violate terms of a little-known 1955 friendship treaty between the two countries.

"The US is publicly propagating a policy meant to damage as severely as possible Iran's economy and Iranian national companies, and therefore inevitably Iranian nationals", Iran's legal representative, Mohsen Mohebi, the global law adviser to the Iranian president, said at The Hague at the beginning of the four-day session for Tehran's case on Monday.

Iranian lawyers made the request Monday, suggesting the sanctions are starving the already weak economy and violate a treaty signed back in 1955.

Last month, Iranian lawyers filed a case before the court that called on its judges to order the U.S. to suspend its sanctions pending a definitive ruling - something that could take years.

Trump ordered the sanctions renewed following Washington's withdrawal from the landmark 2015 nuclear accord that curbed Tehran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for lifting crippling sanctions. But Iran's representative Mohsen Mohebi branded them "naked economic aggression".

"Turkish carriers are expected to increase passenger numbers from Iran by 20 percent as of September", the Turkish daily said.

Mohebi said the re-imposition of sanctions was unjustified as Iran was abiding by the terms of the 2015 deal. But Mr Trump reimposed unilateral sanctions three weeks ago.

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

Some new USA sanctions on Iran took effect this month.

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Iran has called on the other parties to the nuclear deal to resist U.S. pressure to isolate Iran.

"Iran's filing with the ICJ is an attempt to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take lawful actions, including reimposition of sanctions, which are necessary to protect our national security". The freefall of rial's value against foreign currencies has not affected most of these Iranians, who are payed in dollars, euros, or pounds.

The Iranian case comes in the wake of President Donald Trump's announcement in May that he would pull the United States out of a 2015 agreement over Iran's nuclear program and would reimpose sanctions on Tehran.

Worldwide companies including France's Total, Peugeot and Renault, and Germany's Siemens and Daimler, have suspended operations in Iran since Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal in May.

Trump said the sanctions would turn up the financial pressure on Tehran to come to a "comprehensive and lasting solution" regarding its activities such as its "ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism".

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei this month appeared to rule out any immediate prospect of talks, saying "there will be neither war nor negotiations" with the US.

The US and Iran have clashed at the court in the past since they became enemies after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The United States, which argues that the court does not have jurisdiction in the case, is to present its legal arguments to judges on Tuesday.

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