US Threatens Sanctions Against International Criminal Court
US Threatens Sanctions Against International Criminal Court (File Image)

Washington, Sep 11: US National Security Adviser John Bolton has announced that the US will use "any means necessary" to protect its citizens and allies from prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"The US will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court including tariffs and prosecution," Bolton said in a speech to the Federalist Society in here on Monday.

Bolton blasted the ICC as "ineffective, unaccountable", "outright dangerous" and "contrary to American principles", and said the US "would respond against the ICC and its personnel to the extent permitted by US law", CNN reported.

"We will ban its financial system and we will prosecute them in the US criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans," said Bolton, a former ambassador to the UN.

Bolton said the US would "take note" of other countries' cooperation with the ICC and "will remember that cooperation when settling US foreign assistance, military assistance, and intelligence sharing levels".

He also said the administration "would consider taking steps in the UN Security Council" to "constrain" the Netherlands-based court, whose jurisdiction the US does not recognise.

Bolton also hailed the closure of the PLO office in Washington and said the US "will not allow the ICC, or any other organization, to constrain Israel's right to self-defence".

The State Department officially announced the decision to close the office in a statement Monday. "We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017," department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in the statement.

"However, the PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel," CNN quoted the spokeswoman as saying.

The PLO slammed the US administration in advance of the expected announcement and said it had already been notified by the White House of the decision.

The head of the PLO delegation to the US, Husam Zomlot, condemned the closure of the mission "in the strongest terms" in a statement on Monday, saying President Donald Trump's administration was "blindly executing Israel's 'wish list', which starts with shutting down Palestinian diplomatic representation in the US".