Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
National Security Advisor John Bolton speaks to reporters as he announces that the U.S. will pull out of a treaty with Iran during a news conference in the White House briefing room in Washington, October 3, 2018.
The Donald Trump administration this week continued its vocal rejection of multilateral bodies after it withdrew from an International Court of Justice (ICJ) protocol and pulled out of a 1955 friendship treaty with Iran.
The moves were triggered by an ICJ ruling Wednesday that Washington must ensure its sanctions don’t hit humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety for Iran — a ruling that is binding but cannot be enforced.
Top American officials chastised what they called Tehran’s “abuse” of the international court, with National Security Advisor John Bolton announcing that the U.S. would abandon the “optional protocol” under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a 1961 international treaty outlining diplomatic relations between states.
The 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran, meanwhile, signed between the Washington and the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran before he was overthrown in 1979, established friendly relations and the right to ICJ arbitration in case of disputes.
Throughout the last four decades, however, Iran and the U.S. have ignored each other’s complaints brought to the ICJ, and both countries’ policies toward one another have long violated the treaty.