- Iran took the US to the International Court of Justice after it re-imposed sanctions on the back of abandoning a nuclear deal in May. Tehran argued that decision violated the terms of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two nations.
- ICJ judges ruled that the US had to remove “any impediments” to the export of humanitarian goods, including food, medicine and aviation safety equipment. However, judges rejected Iran’s call for the ICJ to order the reinstated US sanctions to be terminated without delay.
- After the ICJ ordered the US to ease sanctions on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the 1955 Treaty of Amity would be terminated. “This is a decision that is, frankly, 39 years overdue,” Pompeo said.
- US National Security Advisor John Bolton said all agreements which could expose the US to ICJ rulings would be also reviewed.
- Al-Monitor – AFP / US pulls out of international accord over Jerusalem embassy case
Financial Times – Valerie Hopkins & Mehreen Khan / Romania’s referendum is more than meets the eye
- It’s referendum time in Romania: On the ballot this weekend is a proposal to amend the constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
- Progressives and pro-LGBT rights organizations have announced a boycott in the hopes that a lowered 30 per cent voter threshold is not met. But if it is reached, it would likely embolden the ruling Social Democrats to seek more significant constitutional changes and get them through referendum.
- The EU has shown growing concern that Bucharest is joining Hungary and Poland in backsliding on core rule of law issues. Romania will take over the EU’s rotating presidency in January.
- A day after the vote, Romania’s embattled Social Democrat leader Liviu Dragnea will appear in court to appeal a three-and-a half-year conviction for instigating abuse of office.
Politico – Charlie Cooper / Theresa May: Don’t risk no Brexit by pursuing ‘perfect Brexit’
- In her speech at the 2018 Conservative Party Conference, British Prime Minister Theresa May made a direct appeal to warring factions in her party: “If we all go off in different directions in pursuit of our own visions of the perfect Brexit — we risk ending up with no Brexit at all.”
- May said her so-called Chequers plan, which has come under attack from Boris Johnson and fellow Brexiteers who want a Canada-style free-trade agreement, would meet the wishes of the electorate by ending freedom of movement from the EU, while protecting “hundreds of thousands of jobs in the just-in-time supply chain.” A Canada-style deal, she said, could never avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
- May repeated her assertion that the UK is prepared to leave the EU with no deal, but struck a more cautious tone, saying the party needs to be “honest about it,” that it would mean “tariffs and costly checks at the border” and would be a “bad outcome for the UK and the EU.”
- According to May, the EU is currently offering two options — a European Economic Area-style relationship that would keep the UK “in the EU in all but name” or a more distant relationship, but with Northern Ireland remaining in the EU’s customs territory. Neither is acceptable to the UK, she said.
South China Morning Post – Aayush Soni / When Putin’s Russia arms India, China and the US keep one eye open
- The most significant outcome of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two-day visit to India is expected to be India’s purchase of the S-400 Triumf missile system from Russia.
- In 2016, the countries signed an agreement allowing India to purchase five S-400 systems for US$5.8 billion. The deal has raised eyebrows in the US, which has urged India not to make the purchase.
- “In a multipolar world, we have to follow a policy of multi-alignment rather than a policy of non-alignment,” said Ashok Sajjanhar, president of the Institute of Global Studies and a former Indian diplomat.
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan, with Putin in Sochi, India’s participation in the 2+2 dialogue with the US, and its S-400 defense systems deal with Russia are emblematic of this multipolarity.
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.