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"The US is publicly propagating a policy meant to damage as severely as possible Iran's economy and Iranian national companies, and therefore inevitably Iranian nationals", Iran's legal representative, Mohsen Mohebi, the worldwide law adviser to the Iranian president, said at The Hague at the beginning of the four-day session for Tehran's case on Monday.

Iran is asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order the U.S.to cease sanctions targeting Tehran amid heightening bilateral tensions.

Members of the International Court of Justice attend a hearing for alleged violations of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between Iran and the USA, at the International Court in The Hague, Netherlands August 27, 2018.

In a written statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the legal move an attempt by Tehran "to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take lawful actions, including re-imposition of sanctions, which are necessary to protect our national security". "We will also ensure Iran has no path to a nuclear weapon - not now, not ever".

In the Netherlands on Monday, Mohsen Mohebi, the lawyer representing Iran, condemned the United States for "naked economic aggression" in the first session of the case. Iran's currency, the rial, has lost about half of its value since April.

US President Donald Trump pulled out of the landmark 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and world powers, and announced unilateral plans to restore sanctions against Tehran.

The 2015 accord between six world powers and Iran saw the Islamic Republic limit its controversial nuclear activities in return for relief from global sanctions.

Global companies including French oil firm Total and Germany's Siemens have suspended operations in Iran since Trump announced the United States withdrawal in May.

However, the deal came with time limits and did not address Iran's ballistic missile program or its regional policies in Syria and elsewhere.

Hearings in that case are due to start on October 8. The British carrier added however that the decision was unrelated to the fresh sanctions. A final decision in the case may take years.

Both British Airways and Air France announced the dates of their final outbound flights of September 22 and September 17, respectively, with the returns the following day.

"Turkey is a leading country among those we have good relations with", he told Iran's state television.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei this month appeared to rule out any immediate prospect of talks, saying "there will be neither war nor negotiations" with the US.

Washington's lawyers will present their case on Tuesday, with experts believing they are to challenge the ICJ's jurisdiction.

At the start of the hearings on Monday, the court's president Abdulqawi Yusuf, leading a 15-judge panel, urged the USA to respect any provisional decision the court may make. Its rulings are binding but on rare occasions they have been ignored by certain countries, chiefly the United States.

However, diplomatic relations were severed following the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and takeover of the U.S. Embassy and ensuing hostage crisis.


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