Trump Regime Refuses World Court Rulings on Palestine and Iran, US Withdrawal from the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations


Is Trump being held captive by political operatives within his Cabinet – notably Pompeo, Bolton and Haley on geopolitical issues?  They’re  hostile to world peace,  democratic values, and respect for international law. 

On Wednesday, John Bolton announced the Trump regime’s withdrawal from the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR) optional protocol.

The 1961 international treaty defines the legal way diplomatic relations between countries are supposed to be conducted.

It codifies basic rules of diplomatic law, enabling diplomatic missions to operate without fear of coercion or harassment where they’re located.

According to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), its success depends on observance of international law.

Its optional protocol on settling international disputes permits  ICJ adjudication when petitioned by a VCDR member state.

It’s charged with settling disputes between member states, along with providing advisory opinions when asked.

Chapter XIV of the UN Charter authorizes the Security Council to enforce its rulings – compromised by veto power of the five permanent members – America, Britain, China, France, and Russia.

On Wednesday, John Bolton issued a statement, saying

Trump  “decided that the United States will withdraw from the optional protocol and dispute resolution to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”

“This is in connection with a case brought by” the Palestinian Authority (PA) – petitioning the ICJ to compel Washington to shut its Jerusalem embassy, adding its move from Tel Aviv violated the Vienna Convention, requiring embassies to be located in host countries.

Jerusalem is a UN-established international city – Resolution 181, 1947, designating the city a “separate entity” under a world body protectorate.

Unanimously passed Security Council Resolution 476 (June 1980) declared “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant (Fourth Geneva) violation.”

Israel claiming the city, “complete and united, as (its) capital” has no legal standing. East Jerusalem is illegally occupied territory. So is historic Palestine.

Security Council Resolution 478 (1980) “call(ed) upon all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.”

It “demand(ed) that all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the Holy City of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.”

Security Council Resolution 2334 (December 2016, adopted 14 – 0 with the US abstaining) said settlements have “no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation under international law.”

It demanded “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

It recognized no territorial changes “to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”

It “(c)alled upon all States, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

It “(c)alled for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard…”

The US and Israel consistently ignore SC resolutions and other international laws opposing their imperial agenda.

Israel unlawfully considers Jerusalem its exclusive capital. Under international law, it was illegally annexed.

On September 28, the PA petitioned the ICJ, stating:

“The relocation of the United States embassy in Israel to the Holy City of Jerusalem constitutes a breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 18 April 1961” – as well as UN resolutions discussed above.

The PA called on the ICJ to declare moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem a violation of international diplomatic law – demanding it be withdrawn.

In 2012, Palestine was granted non-member UN observer status. Law Professor Francis Boyle earlier said:

“The world had inflicted a terrible injustice upon the Palestinian people in 1947-1948.

There would be no peace in the Middle East until this injustice was somehow rectified; and

The Palestinian people were certainly entitled to an independent nation state of their own.”

Diplomatic recognition by over two-thirds of UN member states affords Palestine de facto membership in the world body – de jure status “only a matter of time,” said Boyle.

Withdrawing from the Vienna Convention protocol is all about the Trump regime’s unwillingness to accept lawfully binding ICJ rulings – including its decision for Iran, saying certain US sanctions on the country violated the 1955 US-Iran Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights, the ruling discussed in a same-day article.

Bolton said the Trump regime “will commence a review of all international agreements that may still expose the United States to purported binding jurisdiction dispute resolution (sic) in the International Court of Justice.”

US aggression against one non-threatening country after another, along with countless other hostile actions, clearly shows it’s an international outlaw, a pariah state, under Republicans and undemocratic Dems.

Neocon extremists in charge of Trump’s geopolitical agenda match or exceed the unlawful actions of their predecessors – their policies further isolating the US from the world community.


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Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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