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Home > English > EU may reimpose sanctions on Iran ship line despite court order

EU may reimpose sanctions on Iran ship line despite court order

Saturday 30 November 2013

BRUSSELS: European governments have taken preliminary steps to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s main cargo-shipping line, potentially complicating a new diplomatic push to settle the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program. Diplomats told Reuters the governments had agreed this week to send letters to Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and some of its subsidiaries to inform them of their intention.

The decision, not yet final, is part of a broader EU effort to counter a number of court rulings annulling European sanctions such as these ones in recent months.

“We will give notice to the companies that if they have information that would affect the decision, they should submit it. It is a notice,” an EU source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The source added the EU would use any response from the targeted companies to decide how to formulate new sanctions, which would freeze the company’s assets in Europe.

Governments in Europe and the United States had targeted hundreds of Iranian companies such as IRISL, accusing them of aiding Tehran’s nuclear program which they suspect has covert military aims and which they want curbed. Iran denies having military goals and says it needs nuclear power for electricity generation and medical purposes.

But Europe’s second-highest General Court has argued in some cases, including the one related to IRISL, that the EU failed to provide sufficient evidence linking the companies to Iran’s nuclear work to justify sanctions and ordered them lifted.

Diplomats in Brussels are keen to portray any possible new listings of previously targeted companies as a technical issue, not a new push to increase economic pressure on Iran, and stress that no final decision has been taken.

The timing of any sanctions decision is sensitive. Six world powers – the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – and Iran have started a new series of negotiations this month.

Tehran has signaled new willingness to compromise over its nuclear work since the relative moderate President Hassan Rouhani took office in August but it wants sanctions lifted as part of any deal.

A new round of talks is scheduled for Nov. 7-8 in Geneva, and the EU in its letter to IRISL is asking for feedback before Nov. 5.

The EU has in the past appealed against cases of sanctions that have been quashed, for example after the General Court overturned sanctions on Iran’s Bank Mellat and Bank Saderat earlier this year.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Business/Middle-East/2013/Oct-25/235701-eu-may-reimpose-sanctions-on-iran-ship-line-despite-court-order.ashx#ixzz2m9xPjsIu
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

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