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Pompeo announces termination of 1955 bedrock US/Iran treaty in response to UN court ruling

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivers remarks on "Supporting Iranian Voices” at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs in Simi Valley, California on July 22, 2018. (State Department/Flickr)
October 03, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just announced that the United States is further severing ties with Iran.

The U.S. will cancel a 1955 treaty with Iran which secured “economic relations and consular rights” between the two nations, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

“I’m announcing that the United States is terminating the 1955 treaty of amity with Iran. This is a decision that is 39 years over due,” Pompeo announced at a press conference.

Pompeo cited attacks on the U.S. as a reason for the abolishment. “Iran is the origin of the current threat to Americans in Iraq. We can see the hand of the Ayatollah and his henchmen supporting these attacks on the United States.”

On Friday, Pompeo announced the evacuation of U.S. personnel from the U.S. consulate in Basra, Iraq, which had been the focus of violence and attacks believed to be perpetrated by Iran.

“I also warned the Iranian government that we will hold it directly responsible for any harm to Americans or our diplomatic facilities, whether perpetrated by Iranian forces or by associated proxies or elements of those militias,” Pompeo said.

“These latest destabilizing acts in Iraq are attempts by the Iranian regime to push back on our efforts to constrain its malign behavior. Clearly, they see our comprehensive pressure campaign as serious and succeeding,” Pompeo said. “We must be prepared for them to continue their attempts to hit back, especially after our full sanctions are reimposed on the fourth of November.”

Pompeo noted the U.S. will continue to support Iraq’s independence, and will continue providing humanitarian aid to the Basra area.

Pompeo’s announcement comes on the heels of a United Nations’ International Court of Justice decision on Wednesday, which ordered the U.S. to remove sanctions on “humanitarian” supplies to Iran. The court determined that sanctions on goods “required for humanitarian needs… may have a serious detrimental impact on the health and lives of individuals on the territory of Iran,” CBS News reported.

In July, Iran filed a lawsuit with the ICJ against the U.S. over a violation of the Treaty of Amity, alleging that sanctions imposed by the U.S. violated numerous provisions in the document, Reuters reported at the time.

Pompeo said Iran had abused the ICJ for propaganda purposes, and called their claims “absurd.”

The ICJ, however, lacks the power to enforce the decisions they make, which have often been ignored by numerous countries.

Despite the conflict, Pompeo asserted that the U.S. will continue seeking ways to provide humanitarian aid to Iran.