ECJ uphold Bank Saderat judgment & EU amends the bank's re-listing

The Court of Justice has upheld the General Court’s decision to annul the original listing of Bank Saderat Iran on the EU’s nuclear sanctions on Iran – Case C-200/13 PCouncil v Bank Saderat [2016] (see previous blog on judgment below). The Court agreed with the General Court that:

  • an emanation of a non-Member State enjoyed EU rights of defence of and judicial protection.
  • The 2nd reason for listing Bank Saderat (that it provided financial services to entities procuring on behalf of Iran’s nuclear program including UN listed entities) was too vague, and its vagueness was not cured by the other reasons.
  • The Council had not provided evidence for its listing.
  • The ECJ said the General Court was wrong to say that in all cases the Council had to assess the relevance and validity of evidence submitted by Member States.

The ECJ dismissed the Bank’s cross-appeal; the bank had tried to argue that the Court should annul measures straight away rather than after the time for appeal has expired, but the Court disagreed on the grounds that sanctions measures are (according to the Court) to be analysed as regulations rather than decisions for these purposes.

The EU has also just amended the statement of reasons given for re-listing of the Bank and its UK subsidiary Bank Saderat PLC. The measures now say the bank violated UN sanctions by doing business with designated entity Defence Industries Organisations in March 2009.  The listing will apply until 22 October 2016. Bank Saderat is not due under the JCPOA to be de-listed until Transition Day, 18 October 2023 or when the UN and IAEA conclude that Iran’s nuclear programme is entirely peaceful. See Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/603implementing Regulation 267/2012 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/609amending Decision 2010/413/CFSP.