UK court rejects Iranian company’s request to block EU sanctions

UK court rejects Iranian company’s request to block EU sanctions

[JURIST] The London High Court [official website] on Friday rejected a request for an injunction by Iran’s main oil tanker firm, NITC [corporate website], which the company had sought to block the re-imposition of sanctions by the EU. High Court Judge Nicholas Green gave his reasoning for rejecting [Reuters report] NITC’s request at a hearing on Monday. NITC is expected to be put back on the “blacklist” by the EU in response to the continued international controversy surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. Green maintained that unilateral action by the UK to veto EU sanctions would weaken the UK’s credibility on the nuclear question and undermine the value of the sanction regime that has been put in place. In addition, Green suggested NITC take their argument before the Luxembourg-based General Court [official website], the second highest court in the EU.

Over the past several years Iran has been subject to numerous sanctions for its contentious nuclear program, although some commentators doubt the efficacy of such sanctions [JURIST op-ed]. Iranian leaders have repeatedly claimed that the developing nuclear program is for peaceful purposes [JURIST report], but the international community, Israel in particular [JURIST op-ed], worries that Iran’s enrichment program was designed for military purposes. In October the General Court temporarily removed sanctions [Times of Israel report] against NITC. In late December Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif [official website] announced [JURIST report] that Iran and the six world powers of P5+1 [BBC news archive] are set to resume low-level talks on Iran’s nuclear program in Geneva on Jan 15.