Monday

19th Feb 2018

EU court strikes down Iran sanctions

The EU second-highest court has deleted sanctions against seven Iranian firms and one man accused of collusion in a nuclear weapons programme.

The verdict, issued by the Luxembourg-based General Court on Friday (6 September), said EU governments failed to make their case.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Centrifuges: UN powers want Iran to stop enriching uranium to near weapons grade (Photo: wikipedia)

It said they "had not proved the facts" on which they blacklisted Post Bank Iran, Iran Insurance Company, Good Luck Shipping and Export Development.

It said the facts on Persia International Bank, Iranian Offshore Engineering & Construction and Naser Bateni, a former Persia International Bank director "do not by themselves justify" sanctions.

It also said the EU "breached the obligation to … disclose" its evidence against Bank Refah Kargaran.

The rulings will not take effect for at least two months, pending a possible appeal by EU governments, which could delay the process for up to one year.

Meanwhile, the court upheld sanctions against the Hamburg-based Europe-Iranian Investment Bank (EIH), and Melli Bank, Iran's largest financial institution.

In the case of Melli Bank, which is also the largest bank in the Middle East, with over 3,300 branches and 43,000 employees, the court said it had "ensured that scholarships were paid on behalf of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran," adding that this "constitutes support for nuclear proliferation."

It noted that "transactions carried out by EIH on behalf of designated Iranian entities justify the adoption of restrictive measures against it."

The EU and the US have imposed freezes on assets and financial transfers upon on a series of banks and companies in recent years in a bid to put pressure on Iran to fall in line with UN demands on nuclear transparency.

EU governments have also banned trade in Syrian oil, other petrochemicals, precious metals and gems.

The Iranian government says it is only seeking to develop nuclear technology for civilian use.

Speaking at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Vilnius, the bloc's foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, said she would meet with Iranian foreign minister Javid Zarif on the margins of next week's UN general assembly in New York to restart nuclear talks.

"We've got some good proposals on the table," she said.

"We are always willing to listen to good proposals from Iran. We really want to move quickly to resolve this," she added.

EU Iran sanctions “most far-reaching ever agreed”

European Union diplomats on Thursday agreed to a fresh package of sanctions against Iran going well beyond those imposed by the UN Security Council in early June. The measures target the country's energy industry as well as its transport, banking and insurance sectors and will hurt not only Iranian firms, but European companies as well.

Agenda

ECB, Budget, EU elections This WEEK

EU leaders will gather to begin talking about the 2019 election process and the post-2020 budget, while eurozone finance ministers will ponder choosing the next European Central Bank deputy chief.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel: Nord Stream 2 pipeline poses 'no danger'
  2. Spanish king in Barcelona next week
  3. Turkey jails journalists for life
  4. Make budget cuts in farm and regional funds, the Dutch say
  5. UN: Hungary's anti-migration bill is 'assault on human rights'
  6. Journalist Deniz Yucel freed in Turkey
  7. New organic farming bill not ready until late spring
  8. Commissioner: Western Balkans in EU is 'obvious'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAA year ago UNESDA members pledged to reduce added sugars in soft drinks by 10%
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  3. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  4. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  5. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  7. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  8. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  9. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February
  10. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaSave The Date 28/02: “Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU: 1988-2018”
  12. European Heart NetworkSmart CAP is Triple Win for Economy, Environment and Health

Latest News

  1. EU asks charities to explain anti-abuse measures
  2. ECB, Budget, EU elections This WEEK
  3. EU states stay mute on implementation of mercury bill
  4. Baltic states demand bigger EU budget
  5. Germany raises concerns over Hungary's 'Stop Soros' bills
  6. EU ties Brexit transition talks to divorce agreement
  7. EU divided over Western Balkan enlargement
  8. Facebook and Twitter weak on protecting users, says EU