Saturday, September 7, 2013

EU court melts freeze on Iranian entities' assets

Lacking evidence that certain assets supported Iran's nuclear ambitions, the Council of the European Union must unfreeze them, a court ruled Friday.

For years, European lawmakers have pressured Iran to end its nuclear program - which the country claims is being developed for peaceful purposes - by blacklisting banks and companies with ties to the Iranian government and the program.

But in 10 decisions Friday the Luxembourg-based General Court of the European Union ordered the EU Council to remove several entities from the blacklist, finding that lawmakers failed in various instances to prove the companies had actually provided financial backing for Iran's nuclear program.

"With regard to Post Bank Iran, Iran Insurance Company, Good Luck Shipping and Export Development Bank of Iran, the court finds that the council has not proved the facts of which it accuses those four companies and that the council could not, therefore, properly establish that they had provided support for nuclear proliferation," the court said in a statement. "Consequently, the acts of the council requiring the funds of those companies to be frozen have been annulled."

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