Court rejects EU’s freeze on assets of Iran central bank

Court rejects EU’s freeze on assets of Iran central bank

The EU's initial freeze on the assets of Iran's central bank has been struck out in court, calling into question the bloc's use of confidential sources to support its international sanctions, The Financial Times reported.

The Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that the case against the Iranian central bank from January 2012 was based on confidential evidence from one unidentified member state, against which Tehran could not mount a defence.

"The reasons relied on are so vague and lacking in detail that the only possible response was in the form of a general denial," the court said. "Those reasons therefore do not comply with the requirements of the case-law."

Thursday's ruling against the EU's basis for sanctions comes at a sensitive time, just as the 28 member states are pushing to widen their embargo against Russia over its violations in Ukraine.

In the Iran case, however, the EU said there would be "no practical consequences" because there were further later provisions against Iran that would remain in force, ensuring the embargo on the central bank remained.

However, the case shows that the basis for EU sanctions is coming under increasing pressure. The European Council, the body which represents the 28 nation states of the EU, has just over two months to appeal.

Western sanctions against Tehran have had a devastating impact on the Iranian economy, ensuring that Iran's central bank is unable to access its overseas accounts and cannot bring back the country's revenues from crude exports - its lifeblood.

It has also provide the US and EU with important leverage in negotiations over Tehran's nuclear programme.

Iranian analysts believe the central bank has between $80bn-$100bn frozen in overseas accounts - mainly in China and India. They suspect the blocked assets in European banks are less than $10bn.

One Iranian senior banker said the court's decision many also help persuade the US that the continuation of sanctions against Iran was difficult.

An official in the Council said the court was increasingly challenging sanctions based on unnamed intelligence sources. Although he was unable to comment directly on the Iran case, he said the usual response from Brussels was to appeal and seek to reimpose the sanctions by using evidence that is publicly available.

Iran has been offered a small measure of sanctions relief for agreeing to sign up to talk of its nuclear programme, allowing Tehran to access $2.8bn of restricted funds.

But even if Iran were to win a big case on central bank sanctions that would not guarantee that the rest of the blocked funds would immediately enter back into circulation.

Iran is cut out of the Swift international currency clearing system so transfers would remain difficult. Western banks such as BNP Paribas and HSBC have also faced heavy fines for dealing with Tehran, and some bankers say they would be reticent about returning to business with the Iran.

Audit services in Azerbaijan improving step by step
Audit services in Azerbaijan improving step by step
Azerbaijani finance ministry’s securities in great demand
Azerbaijani finance ministry’s securities in great demand
Cargo transportation volume through "Middle Corridor" by late 2020 disclosed
Cargo transportation volume through "Middle Corridor" by late 2020 disclosed
Loading Bars
Latest
France's Macron says U.S. maximum pressure on Iran not working
Israeli PM, Bahraini crown prince discuss cooperation over phone
Audit services in Azerbaijan improving step by step
Mayor urges holidaymakers to 'stay permanently' amid population boom in Bodrum
Iran purchases additional wheat from farmers
Turkish president makes phone call to Azerbaijani president
President of Uzbekistan to deliver speech at 75th UN GA session
28 Kazakhstanis died from COVID-19 on Sep 14-20
Valentina Matviyenko: Azerbaijan has been and remains strategic partner for Russia
U.S. COVID-19 deaths top 200,000 -- Johns Hopkins University
MP: Azerbaijan to give worthy response to any provocations of Armenia
Azerbaijani finance ministry’s securities in great demand
Cargo transportation volume through "Middle Corridor" by late 2020 disclosed
China's exports of flat-rolled products of non-alloy steel to Georgia down
Georgian expert: Azerbaijan harmoniously combines three world religions
Geostat reveals volume of Russian export to Georgia
Speaker of Azerbaijani parliament meets chairperson of Federation Council of Russian Federal Assembly (PHOTO)
Georgia reveals volume of processed grapes by regions
Georgia reveals export statistics of major goods to Russia
Israeli city vice-mayor: Azerbaijan highly appreciates tolerance
Baku Port: New transport corridors of Caspian Sea increases Middle Corridor's role
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale September 23
French Development Agency to fund construction of Uzbek hydropower plants
Review of Georgian exports to China
Red Cross representatives visit Dilgam Asgarov, Shahbaz Guliyev
Turkish president: Armenia - biggest obstacle to peace in South Caucasus
Kazakhstan to greatly increase level of automation of public services
Azerbaijan's AzInTelecom supports creation of new mobile app
Purchase of wheat in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan Province completed
Uzbekistan permits flights for Abu Dhabi low-cost airline
Georgian company AgroKartli expect to increase apple crop
New ambassador of Netherlands to Azerbaijan arrives in Baku
Azerbaijan eyes to open two more DOST Centers till late 2020
Azerbaijan's ADY Express reveals cargo handling volumes via BTK railway
Georgian Railway sees increase in cargo transportation
Germany increases export volumes to Kazakhstan despite COVID-19
Industrial production to be increased in Uzbek regions
Uzbekistan boosts import of grain, legumes from Turkey
Azerbaijani First VP Mehriban Aliyeva attends opening of new kindergarten (PHOTO)
ADIF discloses amount of сompensations made to clients of closed banks
Kazakhstan Air Astana to resume direct flights to Russia
IRI's International Assessment Team Arrives Ahead of Georgia’s Parliamentary Elections
Iran’s NISOC can increase extraction coefficient
Kazakhstan's progress on cereals and legumes harvesting revealed as of Sept.22
Bahar Azadi gold coin price climbs
Azercosmos begins cooperation with ViewMedia
National Bank of Georgia to sell funds at foreign exchange auction
COVID-19 pandemic negatively affects Georgian Sarajishvili's company
Ceramic plant being prepared to launch in Turkmenistan’s Lebap region
Iran Customs Administration to facilitate release of imported goods
Azerbaijan to upgrade local hydrological networks
Construction of new apartments across Iran's towns going full speed
Int'l community must stop terror carried out by Armenia against Azerbaijan - Lebanese lawyer
Review of Georgian livestock export to Azerbaijan
More Kazakh citizens sent back home from Azerbaijan by sea
Azerbaijani First VP Mehriban Aliyeva attends opening of new building of Children’s Art School in Bulbula settlement (PHOTO)
Georgia plans to create low-cost airline
Volume of cotton fiber exports from Azerbaijan revealed
Turkmengas to purchase chemical products via tender
Iran discloses number of small mines restored
Uzbekistan considers joining research of vaccine for COVID-19
Iran increases amount of foreign currency assigned to importers
Siemens sees market value of energy spin-off above $20 billion
Produce in Georgia agency to begin accepting applications for its Micro and Small Business Support Program
Uzbekistan increases electric cars import
Iran’s Khouzestan Steel Company reaches new production level record
“Protect the Caspian Sea” with support of Bakcell and its partners (PHOTO)
Updates on Uzbekistan’s nuclear progress
EY Azerbaijan officially announces the start of the ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™’ 2020-2021 competition
Subsidiary of KazMunayGas to buy diesel fuel via tender
Cement imports by US from Turkey slightly up amid COVID-19 pandemic
IMF: Economic growth in Uzbekistan to be positive due to growth in construction sector
Azerbaijan's CBA discloses amount of foreign currency bought by local banks
Russia lowers import of Turkish clothes
Geostat reveals volume of citrus fruits exported by Georgia to Azerbaijan
Romanian WEVO company implementing state projects in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
WTL ready to implement new project in Turkmenistan
Review of Georgian corn export to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan has right to liberate its lands by military means - Turkish general
Azerbaijan confirms 113 more COVID-19 recoveries
Value of exports from Iran's Maragheh County revealed
Georgian corn oil to enter local market
ROMGAZ moves towards becoming active player on natural gas distribution market
Azerbaijan's Energy Ministry reveals data on gas production, export
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for September 22
Youth Union of New Azerbaijan Party issues appeal regarding Armenian provocation
PACE rapporteurs welcome decision to release Tofig Yagublu to house arrest
Oil rises on expectations demand can survive new lockdowns
Azerbaijan reveals oil production, export figures for ACG, Shah Deniz field
Electricity potential of Iran's thermal power plants up
Demand for Turkish electrical goods in China down
Turkmenistan, France's MEDEF considering priorities for infrastructure dev't in country
Greece plans to properly exploit fact of receiving natural gas from Azerbaijan
Iran inaugurates new healthcare centers
Kazakhstan's postal service operator to buy spares via tender
Documents on archiving pension files to be in e-format in Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan, France trade down twofold amid COVID-19
Iran’s Tehran Oil Refining Company to boost its capital
Microsoft Azerbaijan talks about cybersecurity within country
Azerbaijani president congratulates King of Saudi Arabia
All news