Tehran aims to sue US individuals over sanctions

19 March, 2019 12:00 AM printer

TEHRAN: Tehran is preparing a lawsuit in Iran against US individuals involved with economic sanctions imposed by Washington, President Hassan Rouhani said Monday, reports AFP.

Rouhani said the presidency’s legal affairs office as well as the justice and foreign ministers have been tasked with “drawing up a lawsuit against all those within America involved with designing and executing these sanctions”.

The case would be lodged in a “competent court inside Iran,” he said, quoted by state television.

Speaking after the last cabinet meeting of Iran’s calendar year which ends on March 20, Rouhani condemned the sanctions as a “crime against humanity” that was hitting ordinary Iranians.

“The world should know that what America has done was not against the Iranian state, it was not against Iran’s nuclear programme, it was against the wellbeing of the Iranian people,” he said.

Rouhani said the sanctions targeted “the normal life of the people... the food supply... the medical supply of the people”.

Last May, US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The renewal of American sanctions, which had been eased in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear programme, sent shockwaves through Iran’s economy.

The IMF reported that the Iranian economy slumped into recession in 2018 and has forecast a 3.6 percent decline in GDP for 2019.

The sanctions have indirectly impacted medical and food supplies, and a steep decline in the value of the rial has pushed up prices of basic goods.

In October, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the United States to lift sanctions affecting imports of “humanitarian” goods to Iran.

The court said sanctions “may have a serious detrimental impact on the health and lives of individuals on the territory of Iran”.