Project Description

Master Thesis, Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities, Netherlands, The Hague

In the international system of law, every single obligation has some kind of executive sanction, and countries violating those obligations shall be held responsible. After the 1979 Revolution in Iran, the United States has consistently violated various provisions of the 1955 Treaty of Amity,a source of international law, and subsequently the 1969 Convention on the Law of Treaties. Other cases of violationby the United States include breach of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Though the United States was allowed to exit the JCPOA based on its nature, the story is quite different about UNSC resolutions because failure to comply with them creates international responsibility. Accordance to Article 103 of the UN Charter, the obligations set out in the Charter take precedence over any other agreement, and Article 25 clearly says that all UN member states are required to comply with such obligations, and that they shall be held responsible internationally for violating such obligations. The United States intends to change the behavior of the Iranian regime through its economic sanctions, which are in violation of the principle of non-interference and the principle against use of force and threats contained in the UN Charter. The economic sanctions extend beyond their own territory have made it difficult for the Iranian people to supply their essential commodities (food and medicine); such conduct also violates human rights obligations as well as the 1966 Economic, Cultural and Social Rights Covenant. As the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights was in force over the relationships of Iran and the United States before Iran made a legal case at the International Court of Justice, the ICJ, acting according to previous Iran vs. US cases, has the power to prove its jurisdiction and will be able to pass a verdict in favor of Iran (although the Court has not established its jurisdiction yet). The UN Security Council and General Assembly serve as the pillars and executive arms of the ICJ and UN, and they are tasked with carrying out the decisions of the ICJ. The two aforementioned pillars make the members comply with the verdicts of ICJ by means of their special mechanisms. In the meantime, Iran will be required to refrain from any provocative action until the final verdict and its execution (by the United States, that shall be required to adhere to and comply with ICJ verdicts through existing sanctions), and avoid violating the ICJ’s Provisional Measures as the United States did; for otherwise, Iran shall also face international responsibilities for such actions. It is also advisable for Iran to reduce its JCPOA obligations through the Joint Commission and in accordance with JCPOA provisions to prevent its case from being returned to the UNSC and the previous international sanctions from being resumed against it. Obviously, the most important duty and highest goal of the UN is to maintain international peace and security, and this case is the best way to test the international mechanisms designed to achieve such important goalsand to resolve international conflicts efficiently and effectively. It will also dictate the legal supremacy of the United Nations over the political and economic powers of its member states, putting it in a good position to deal with violators of international laws and obligations.