We have blogged on several cases in which the EU court has rejected
challenges to re-listings of Iranian people and companies who originally
had their sanctions listings annulled by the Court, but their
re-listings upheld. In most of them, this is because the EU Council
could not evidence their initial listings, which were based on
allegations of involvement with nuclear proliferation, whereas they
could sustain listings based only on allegations that they provide
"support" to the Government of Iran (the more recent listing criteria).
The General Court has just handed down 2 more judgments along these
lines. Links to the judgments are here: Case T-63/14 Iran Insurance Company v Council  and Case T-68/14 Post Bank Iran v Council  and a link to our blog on their previous successful challenges is here.
The 2 judgments are very similar. Key points of interest are that the Court held that:
The criterion providing support to the Government of Iran is "too
general to satisfy the requirement of EU primary law", including the EU
Charter. However, the Court said it has a valid legal basis and does not
violate legal certainty, arbitrariness (and other principles) because
the Court has interpreted it as only applying only to a limited
category, namely those "providing support to the Iranian government
which, through its quantitative or qualitative significance, is likely
to allow it to pursue nuclear proliferation". A link between support to
the Government of Iran and nuclear proliferation is presumed by this
In the case of Iran Insurance Company & Post Bank Iran, the
Court examined in some detail the evidence of each entity's financial
support to the Government and upheld the EU's assessment (therefore
their re-listings were justified).
There was therefore no error of assessment, and consequently no
violation of the principles of equal-treatment, non-discrimination,
sound administration, inadequate statements of reasons, misuse of power,
legitimate expectations and proportionality.
Time should start to run from the date of notification to the applicant and not to its lawyers.
This article first appeared on European Sanctions Law & Practice (http://europeansanctions.com/),
a blog by Maya Lester (+44 20 7379 3550,
email@example.com), a barrister at Brick Court Chambers, and
Michael O'Kane (+44 (0) 20 7822 7777 firstname.lastname@example.org), head
of Business Crime at Peters & Peters.
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