An EU court has ordered the European Council to lift its sanctions on one of Iran’s largest banks and unfreeze its assets. This is the second such ruling.
Reuters reported on September 18, 2014 that the ruling weakens the EU’s sanctions regime at a pivotal time, with negotiators for the world powers and Iran set to meet in New York to try and reach a final agreement in their nuclear disputes.
The Court ruled that the EU Council had failed to provide sufficient evidence to link Bank Saderat to Iran’s nuclear program. A previous ruling reached a similar conclusion regarding Bank Mellat, another Iranian bank.
The court said: “The Council (of EU governments) is in breach of the obligation to state reasons and the obligation to disclose to the applicant … the evidence adduced against it.”
The EU Council has two months to appeal the decision.
Iran has argued that its nuclear program is peaceful, and its goal in the negotiations with the 5+1 is to have all international sanctions lifted.