Wednesday

18th Oct 2017

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.

Tusk summits to create new-model EU

Tusk has proposed a series of 13 top-level talks to take forward European reform, but his backing for a multi-speed Europe risks deepening divide.

News in Brief

  1. Catalonia will 'not back down'
  2. New toxic incident in EU building ahead of summit
  3. Murdered Malta journalist's family invited to Parliament
  4. EU food safety chief denies keeping studies 'secret'
  5. EU states pledge 24,000 resettlement places so far
  6. US ready for arms sale to update Greece's F-16 fleet
  7. Austria's Green leaders step down following election failure
  8. Icelandic journalists protest ban on reporting PM's finances

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  2. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  6. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  7. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  8. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  9. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  10. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  12. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year