US blocks Palestinian embassy suit by axing part of Vienna treaty

Bolton announced on Wednesday that the U.S. was voiding portions of the Vienna Treaty in a move that could prevent the Palestinians or the Iranians from suing the US in the Hague.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

National security adviser John Bolton declared on Wednesday that the Trump administration is pulling out of an amendment to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that the Palestinians, Iranians, or others could use to sue the U.S. at The Hague-based tribunal.

Bolton told reporters at the White House that the provision violates U.S. sovereignty.

“The United States will not sit idly by as baseless politicized claims are brought against us,” Bolton said. He cited a case brought to the court by the “so-called state of Palestine” challenging the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as the main reason for withdrawing.

Bolton, who last month unleashed a torrent of criticism against the International Criminal Court, noted that previous Republican administrations had pulled out of various international agreements and bodies over “politicized cases.”

He said the administration would review all accords that might subject the U.S. to prosecution by international courts or panels.

Bolton’s announcement coincided with one from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the U.S.’ termination of a 1955 treaty of amity that regulates commerce and consular activities between America and Iran.

“This is a decision frankly that is 39 years overdue,” he told reporters.

“Iran has attempted to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take lawful actions as necessary to protect our national security, and Iran is abusing the ICJ for political and propaganda purposes,” Pompeo explained.

Bolton’s announcement follows warnings issued to Iran regarding its ongoing threats.

A little over a week ago, he remarked at a gathering in New York of the United Against a Nuclear Iran organization, “If you (Iran) cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay.”