Ban on Iran’s national tanker company irrational - FM
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 20
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Ban on the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) is against rationality, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.
On Feb. 12, European Union governments agreed to put NITC, Iran's biggest tanker firm, back on the list of sanctioned firms.
The EU's second-highest court ruled last July there were no grounds to blacklist the NITC after it contested the designation, but the EU moved to re-impose sanctions on tighter legal grounds.
NITC - a major transporter of Iran's oil - contested the EU's original blacklisting last year, arguing that the firm is privately owned by Iranian pension funds. It has denied any links with the Iranian government or with the Revolutionary Guards.
Zarif said that the EU's move was not against the Geneva agreement, it was against rationality, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on Feb. 20.
"Their decision was against rationality. The West has not yet understood that the sanctions will be costly for them," he said.
"If they think the sanctions are effective, why they do not go on with the sanctions? Why they are negotiating with us?" Zarif said.
Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Feb.18 that re-imposing sanction by the European Union on the NITC was politically motivated.
The decision was a political move that will harm the nuclear talks between Iran and the West, she said.
European Union governments agreed on Feb.12 to put the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), Iran's biggest tanker company, back on a list of sanctioned firms, an EU official told reuters on condition of anonymity.
The EU's second-highest court ruled last July there were no grounds to blacklist the NITC after the company contested the designation, but the EU said it would seek legal means to keep the company on the list of companies under asset freezes.