Court ruling nullifies EU's Iran sanctions
By The Los Angeles Times
Published: Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 9:33 p.m.
LONDON — A regional court Friday struck down sanctions imposed by the European Union against several Iranian companies, dealing a blow to Western efforts to maintain economic pressure on Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.
The European general court rebuked the EU for relying on what it said was insufficient or inconclusive evidence as a basis for slapping restrictions on a group of Iranian financial, export and construction companies. The firms had appealed their placement on the EU's blacklist, which led to the curtailment of their business in Europe and the freezing of their assets.
Such sanctions have been Europe's preferred tool for putting pressure on nations such as Iran and Syria, whose governments the EU believes to be in violation of international norms. As the world's largest trading bloc, the 28-member EU considers its economic leverage a key component of its diplomatic strategy.
In the case of Syria, sanctions against companies and individuals associated with President Bashar Assad appear to have had little effect on his repressive regime.
Regarding Iran, the measures, in conjunction with similar restrictions imposed by the United States, have been credited with hurting the Iranian economy and increasing popular discontent with the government.
Hundreds of Iranian companies and individuals remain on the economic blacklist. But Friday's court ruling nullifying the sanctions against seven firms and one person could herald other successful appeals by Iranian entities that feel they have been wrongly targeted.
The court said European authorities had not proved that the companies — including Post Bank Iran, Iran Insurance Co. and Iranian Offshore Engineering & Construction Co. — were involved in nuclear proliferation. However, the trade and financial restrictions will not be lifted for another two months to allow EU officials time to appeal the annulment to the European Court of Justice.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 58 killed in attack on U.N. peacekeeping base in South Sudan
- 7.2 earthquake strikes central Mexico
- South Korean ferry captain arrested; crew’s actions faulted in sinking
- 12 killed, 4 missing in avalanche on Mt. Everest
- Ex-Obama campaign strategists to battle each other in British election
- In Egypt, government watchdog Genena hit by backlash in uncovering corruption
- Pro-Russian militants defy accord in eastern Ukraine