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Tehran, July 17, 2018 (News Wires) - Iran has lodged a complaint with the International Court of Justice against the United States' reimposition of sanctions, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The complaint was registered the previous day, spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on the ministry's website.

The goal is "to hold (the) US accountable for its unlawful re-imposition of unilateral sanctions," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter.

"Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of US contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations. It's imperative to counter its habit of violating (international) law," he added.

The complaint came in response to Washington's decision in May to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran.

Tehran says the action violates international obligations, including the 1955 US-Iran Treaty of Amity -- an agreement signed well before Iran's 1979 revolution, but which is still invoked in ongoing legal battles.

Iran and the US have not had diplomatic relations since 1980, when American embassy officials were held hostage in Tehran.

Nuclear-related sanctions will be reimposed by Washington in two phases in August and November, seeking to bar European and other foreign companies from doing business with Iran and blocking its oil sales abroad.

Iran and the other signatories to the 2015 agreement have been scrambling to preserve the limited trade deals they were able to secure since it was signed.

Zarif addressed world diplomats and Iranian businessmen at a lavish Tehran hotel on Monday night, in a meeting designed as a show of continued mutual support in the face of US aggression.

"This administration in the United States doesn't know how to behave towards the world... it breaks international treaties as a tool. It is necessary to put a stop to this behaviour," Zarif said.

Austrian ambassador Stefan Scholz, whose country currently holds the presidency of the European Union, said "unorthodox and innovative measures" were being considered to allow banking transactions to continue after US sanctions return.

"We are all in this together, since the EU is facing a net loss of 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion) in lost trade with Iran next year," Scholz said.

The ICJ is already due to hear a complaint on October 8 that Iran lodged two years ago against the United States for freezing around $2 billion of its assets held abroad.

LONDON, July 10, 2018 (News Wires) - Iran's vice-president acknowledged on Tuesday that US sanctions would hurt the economy, but promised to "sell as much oil as we can" and protect banking.

Eshaq Jahangiri said Washington was trying to stop Iran's petrochemical, steel and copper exports. "America seeks to reduce Iran's oil sales, our vital source of income, to zero," he said, according to Fars news agency.

"It would be a mistake to think the US economic war against Iran will have no impact," Jahangiri added.

President Donald Trump said in May he would pull the United States out of an international accord under which Tehran had agreed to limit its nuclear development in exchange for sanctions relief.

Trump said he would reintroduce sanctions and Washington later told countries they must stop buying Iran’s oil from November 4 or face financial consequences.

On Tuesday, the US ambassador to Germany also called on Berlin to block an Iranian bid to withdraw large sums of cash from bank accounts in Germany.

Jahangiri said Iran’s foreign ministry and the central bank have taken measures to facilitate Iran’s banking operations despite the US sanctions. He did not elaborate.

European powers which still support the nuclear deal say they will do more to encourage their businesses to remain engaged with Iran - though a number of firms have already said they plan to pull out.

Foreign ministers from the five remaining signatory countries to the nuclear deal — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — offered a package of economic measures to Iran on Friday but Tehran said they did not go far enough.

"We think the Europeans will act in a way to meet the Iranian demands, but we should wait and see," Jahangiri said.

He added that the US pressure on Iran came as the United States launched an "economic war with China and even its allies", referring to trade tensions between Washington and many of its main trading partners.

He also accused Washington of trying to use the economic pressure to provoke street protests in Iran.

A wave of anti-government demonstrations against economic hardship and alleged corruption engulfed cities across the country in late December and early January.

TOKYO, July 1, 2018 (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un asked Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Beijing in June to work towards bringing an early end to economic sanctions imposed on his country, Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper reported on Sunday.

Kim told Xi that he wanted China’s help to end the sanctions because it successfully concluded a summit between the United States and North Korea on June 12, the Yomiuri reported, citing unnamed sources close to the matter.

Xi said he would make the “utmost effort” in response to Kim’s request, the Yomiuri said.

Kim made his third trip to China this year just a week after he met U.S. President Donald Trump at the historic summit in Singapore.

DUBAI, June 30, 2018 (News Wires) - US economic pressure on Iran is intended to turn Iranians against their government, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying on Saturday by his website, as Iran faces a likely reimposition of US sanctions.

"They bring to bear economic pressure to separate the nation from the system but six US presidents before him tried this and had to give up," Khamenei was quoted as saying by Khamenei.ir, referring to US President Donald Trump.

ROME, June 27, 2018 (News Wires ) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday the renewal of European economic sanctions against Russia should not be automatic.

European leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday are due to extend until the end of January the sanctions imposed against Russia over its intervention in Ukraine, diplomats and officials said.

“We will reaffirm the principle that there should be nothing automatic about the renewal of sanctions,” Conte told parliament in a speech outlining Italy’s position on various issues ahead of the Brussels meeting.

“We need to be very careful about this. Sanctions should be a means and not constitute an end,” he said, adding that Italy would pay “great attention” to the interests of Italian companies.

The curbs on Russia’s energy, defense and financial sectors have been prolonged every six months since first being imposed in mid-2014 after Moscow annexed the Crimea peninsula from Kiev and backed rebels fighting government troops in east Ukraine.

Moscow vows to never return Crimea and the east Ukraine conflict has killed more than 10,000 people, with low-intensity, sporadic fighting still taking place regularly.

 

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2018 (News Wires) - The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Thursday against six individuals and three companies it said had funneled millions of dollars to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Qods Force, just days after President Donald Trump withdrew from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The Treasury Department said it was acting with the United Arab Emirates to disrupt the network and accused Iran’s central bank of actively helping the group to access U.S. dollars held in foreign bank.

“The Iranian regime and its Central Bank have abused access to entities in the UAE to acquire U.S. dollars to fund the IRGC-QF’s malign activities, including to fund and arm its regional proxy groups, by concealing the purpose for which the U.S. dollars were acquired,” Mnuchin said in a statement.

The six individuals and three entities were sanctioned under U.S. regulations targeting specially designated global terrorist suspects and Iranian financial activity, the Treasury said.

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