UK court rejects Iran tanker firm's attempt to avert European sanctions

LONDON - A legal attempt by Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC to stop the European Union from reimposing sanctions on it over its disputed nuclear program has failed in a London court, setting back Tehran's efforts to ease trade restrictions.
Iran is engaged in nuclear talks with world powers as it tries to strike a final deal to lift the sanctions that have halved its oil exports to just over 1 million barrels per day since 2012 and hammered its economy.
EU governments were due imminently to re-include NITC, a major carrier of Iran's oil, on a blacklist of people and entities targeted by the bloc's sanctions, High Court Judge Nicholas Green said on Monday.
The NITC case is part of an effort by the EU to mount a challenge against Iranian companies that have been winning court cases aimed at lifting sanctions against them.
NITC had been on an EU sanctions blacklist since 2012 until a European court ruled in July last year that there were no grounds to keep it on the list. The firm announced in October that EU sanctions against it had been annulled. It is still blacklisted by the United States.
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