"The real subject matter of the dispute between Iran and the United States is not one of the interpretation or application of the Treaty of Amity but is rather an endeavour by Iran to seek from the court the reinstatement of the US sanctions relief that was afforded by the JCPOA," the US attorney said.
The US insists that the treaty is no longer in force and Iran's chosen subject of the lawsuit does not fall within the treaty.
The attorney added that the majority of Washington’s measures that were challenged by Tehran in its lawsuit regarding violations of the Amity Treaty are related to trade relations between Iran and other countries, not bilateral United States-Iran trade.
"The vast majority of US measures challenged by Iran in ICJ lawsuit do not concern bilateral trade, but trade between Iran and third countries, which is not covered by amenity treaty," the US attorney said.
The representative added that both parties, when signing the treaty, kept a right to "bar the other parties’ companies from entering or establishing new enterprises in its territory for any reason or no reason."
In 2018, Iran filed a lawsuit against the US, claiming that Washington broke the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights by reimposing nuclear sanctions on Tehran.
Washington has attempted to invoke the 2015 nuclear agreement snapback mechanism under UN Security Council Resolution 2231 to reimpose the UN sanctions against Tehran that were previously lifted under the JCPOA. The majority of the UN Security Council members, including Russia, China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, have said they would not support the United States' decision to reimpose sanctions against Iran.
The JCPOA, signed in 2015 by Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union, stipulates the removal of international sanctions from Tehran in exchange for scaling down its nuclear program. The deal was then enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which includes the provision on the five-year arms embargo.