EU re-imposes sanctions on Iran’s Bank Tejarat, 32 shipping companies
The European Union has re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s Bank Tejarat and 32 shipping companies, just a few days after Iran reached a mutual understanding with representatives of the US and EU over its nuclear program.
The measure, announced in a publication in the Official Journal of the European Union on April 7, comes despite an order by Europe’s second highest court to end the asset freeze on Iranian entities in January.
The General Court of the European Union on January 22 struck down the illegal sanctions that the 28 members of the European bloc had imposed against Bank Tejarat, saying the EU has not presented any justification for freezing the assets and economic resources of the Iranian bank.
The court, in a separate ruling, also annulled the bans on 40 Iranian shipping lines and companies linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).
In its new decision, the EU has used new legal grounds to impose sanctions on the Iranian bank and 32 shipping companies, according to a list published in the EU’s official journal on Wednesday. The names of eight Iranian shipping companies on which illegal sanctions had been imposed previously are not on the new list.
“Bank Tejarat should be included again on the list of persons and entities subject to restrictive measures, on the basis of a new statement of reasons,” the journal says, adding, “On the basis of a new statement of reasons, 32 of those entities should be included again on the list of persons and entities subject to restrictive measures.”
“This Regulation shall enter into force on the date of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union,” the EU said in the journal, adding, “This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.”
“The Council has decided that the restrictive measures” against the Iranian companies and bank “should be renewed until 13 April 2016.”
The sanctions had been imposed on the Iranian bank and the companies over allegations that they had had a role in the development of Iran’s nuclear energy program and circumvented US-led illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
At the beginning of 2012, the US and EU imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.
In October 2012, EU foreign ministers reached an agreement on another round of sanctions against Iran.
The move by the EU comes after eight days of marathon talks in Lausanne following which Iran and the six-member group of Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany, aka P5+1, issued a joint statement on April 2 on their mutual understanding over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Iran and its negotiating partners are now expected to start work to draw up a final comprehensive deal over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by the end of the self-designated June 30 deadline.