WASHINGTON – The US government announced on Wednesday that it will terminate the Treaty of Amity signed with Iran in 1955 amid the climate of tension that has prevailed between the two countries since President Donald Trump took office.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced at a Wednesday press conference the termination of the treaty, which has been used by the Iranian government to argue that the Trump administration has committed assorted violations of the bilateral document.
Tensions between the two nations have increased considerably since Trump entered the White House, especially since last May when he pulled the US out of the nuclear pact with Iran and five other world powers.
The administration’s move came after the ruling handed down Wednesday by the International Court of Justice at The Hague ordering the US to lift some of the sanctions it had reimposed on Iran after withdrawing from the nuclear deal.
The top United Nations court, which has no power to enforce its rulings, also ordered the US to halt certain measures against Iran linked to the export of assorted basic goods and products.
“We ought to have pulled out of it decades ago,” Pompeo asserted, saying that the pull-out was “39 years overdue” – referring to the 1979 revolution in Iran which brought to power the radical theocracy that still rules the country.
“Today marked a useful point with the decision that was made this morning from the ICJ ... for us to demonstrate the absolute absurdity of the Treaty of Amity between the United States and the Islamic Republic,” Pompeo said.
“Iran is the origin of the current threat to Americans in Iraq,” Pompeo told reporters, speaking at the State Department. “Our intelligence in this regard is solid. We can see the hand of the ayatollah and his henchmen supporting these attacks on the United States.”
He said that Iran had been ignoring the treaty for a long time.
Iran, in turn, has argued that US sanctions, which had been lifted when the 2016 nuclear agreement entered into force, violated the 1955 Treaty of Amity.
Trump, meanwhile, has stated that an even harsher round of sanctions targeting Tehran’s oil and financial sectors will take effect in early November and US allies could face their own set of sanctions if they continue doing business with Iran.