EU court rules for second time against Iran bank sanctions

By REUTERS
February 7, 2013 05:46

BRUSSELS - A European Union court has ruled that the EU should lift sanctions it imposed on one of Iran's largest banks, the second such judgment that could complicate Western efforts to increase pressure on the Islamic Republic.

The ruling further weakens the EU's sanctions regime imposed against Iran's nuclear program, just weeks before six powers are due to resume stalled negotiations with Iran aimed at addressing fears that Tehran is seeking the bomb.

In its ruling on Tuesday, the EU's General Court said the EU had failed to provide sufficient evidence that Bank Saderat was involved in Iran's nuclear program when the bloc targeted it with sanctions in July 2010.

EU governments have two months to appeal. Last week, the court issued a similar ruling about of Bank Mellat, the biggest private sector lender in Iran.

When the EU imposed sanctions on Bank Saderat, it accused it of providing "financial services for entities procuring on behalf of Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs".

The court, however, said the claims were not sufficiently substantiated.


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