The European Union yesterday re-imposed sanctions on an Iranian bank and 32 Iranian shipping companies using new legal justifications after a European court overturned the sanctions.
The decision comes days after Iran and six world powers reached a framework agreement to end a dispute over Iran’s nuclear activities, which caused the imposition of sanctions. The EU sanctions will remain in place until a final deal is reached.
In January, the second highest court in the European Union cancelled a freeze on the assets of Bank Tejarat and 40 Iranian shipping companies after it concluded that there was an error in the legal grounds on which the European Union’s decision was based.
The European Union responded, as it has done in other cases, by relisting Bank Tejarat and 32 Iranian shipping companies using new legal grounds. Eight companies were unaffected by the new measures. The sanctions are applied with immediate effect.
The framework agreement that was reached last Thursday in Switzerland paves the way for negotiations on a settlement that aims to dispel the West’s fear of Iran’s desire to build a nuclear weapon in return for lifting the economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.
Sanctions will gradually be lifted after the final agreement has been reached. The six powers and Iran aim to reach a final agreement by 30 June.
The reasons given by the EU for reinstating the freeze on Bank Tejarat’s assets are that the bank “provides significant support to the government of Iran by offering financial resources and financing services for oil and gas development projects.”
The shipping companies were listed because they are all owned by the Iranian shipping lines on which sanctions were imposed in the past.
The EU had already notified a lawyer who represents the shipping companies in March that it intends to place them on the sanctions list.