Tehran has filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over effect of US sanctions during the coronavirus pandemic, as announced by Iranian Vice-President for Legal Affairs Laya Joneydi on Saturday, the Mehr news agency reported.

According to the report, Joneydi announced the news during a visit to the Pasteur Institute of Iran, one of the country's champions of health care research and practice.

The Iranian economy, heavily dependent on its oil exports, suffered a hard blow in the early 2000s from international sanctions.The measures came after the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, found that Tehran was secretly running enrichment and reprocessing activities.

While most of these sanctions were lifted in 2016 after the IAEA verified Iran's compliance with commitments laid out in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, some remained in place and even multiplied.

In particular, the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and has since systematically applied rounds of sanctions against Iran's economy, including its oil, metal industries, financial and banking sectors, trade and weapons development, in addition to travel bans and asset freezes. Due to Washington's desire to see Iran's oil exports at zero, the sanctions are also extended to other states for doing business with Tehran.

Despite Tehran's repeated calls for sanctions to be lifted during the pandemic, the punitive measures have remained.