EU General Court strikes down sanctions against seven Iranian companies
The EU’s General Court ruled on Sept. 6th that the EU Member States wrongly imposed sanctions against Iranian companies as part of their efforts to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Upholding appeals brought by four Iranian banks and three shipping and construction companies, the Court cited a lack of evidence as it annulled the sanctions.
The restrictive measures, which include a freeze on assets and bank transfers, will remain in place pending an expected appeal by EU governments to the European Court of Justice. The Council has two months within which to appeal against the ECJ ruling.
Not all appellants were succesful, however. The Court found that the asset freezes imposed on Bank Melli Iran and Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank were justified. Bank Melli Iran is Iran’s biggest bank. The Court stated that the bank had … “ensured that scholarships were paid on behalf of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) after restrictive measures had been adopted against AEOI by the United Nations Security Council”…. – a fact which “constitutes support for nuclear proliferation”.
See the comments on this decision in the New York Times, the BBC and the Financial Times