EU respects Iranian sanctioned entities' appeal to courts
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.20
By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:
For first time since mid-2012, Iran scheduled to ship a petrochemical cargo to Europe in restricted amount this week.
The European Union suspended the sanctions related to Iran's petrochemical products export based on the agreement on a Joint Plan of Action, achieved on November 24, 2013 and took force on January 20. however, Iran hasn't resumed any petrochemical products export to EU till now.
Iranian-born economist Mehrdad Emadi of the U.K.-based Betamatrix International Consultancy told Trend Dec.10 that the main problem is bank transactions, while European banks are very cautious about Iran-related money transactions.
He said that Iranian banks hasn't been excluded from EU's blacklist, while EU courts have stroke down European sanctions over some Iranian banks.
In latest case, The General Court of the European Union (1st Chamber) decided in September that the inclusion of the Central Bank of Iran on the EU's sanctions relating to Iran in March 2012 was unlawful and therefore its entry in the annex to Regulation 267/2012 should be annulled.
Before that, some of Iran's banks, including Melli bank won the appeals against EU sanctions in European courts.
A spokesman to European Commission told Trend Dec.20 : "As required by the EU Treaties and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the rights of the listed persons and entities, including their due process rights, must be respected. Judgments delivered by EU Courts should be seen in this legal context."
One of terms in the agreement on a Joint Plan of Action including measures to be undertaken by the European Union is that " The EU will increase tenfold all the EU authorization thresholds with a view to allowing more financial transfers to and from Iran to be processed without authorization requirements and therefore facilitating non-sanctioned transactions.
However, Emadi says that for normalization the financial transaction operations with Iran the allowance of European members' Treasuries is needed, else, European banks never go to the risk of any cooperation with Ian.
"There are two challenges in front of Iran's petrochemical exports to EU despite the fact that the sanctions have been removed on the issue. Firstly, main part of the buyers has not found yet banking paths to pay Iran for petrochemicals. However sanctions over the petrochemical exports have been lifted but yet the private banks indicate fewer tendencies to involve in financial transaction with Iran," Emadi said.
He added that the second challenge is that when Iran lost the EU markets, the Islamic republic's competitors replaced Tehran in the market and signed mid-short and long-term contracts with European consumers.
Iran's Jam Petrochemical Company announced Dec.14 that a consignment of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), measuring 2,000 tons with a total value of over USD 2 million, will be shipped to Belgium next week.
Emadi says that if Iran wants to regain its former markets will have no choice rather than offering more attractive conditions for its petrochemical exports. However the country has so far failed to offer that.
So far the Islamic Republic's efforts to enter the EU markets are not successful despite the lifting sanctions.
He added that even despite the EU courts annulled sanctions against certain Iranian banks, practically the sanctions remain in the place.
"For instance, once in 2013 the UK Supreme Court overturned a ban stopping Bank Mellat from operating in Britain the UK treasury did not rejected the rule but delayed to implement the rule on lifting sanctions, or in Germany, despite the court verdict, the Iranian-related bank assets also remain frozen. The German treasury has so far refused to order the private German banks on the issue. On the other words, the private banks prefer to not take steps despite the court rule before the officially order from the treasury," he said.
Emadi believes that Europe prefers to wait for results of nuclear talks with Iran.
Iran and the P5+1 group (the US, UK, France, Russia, China plus Germany) agreed to extend nuclear talks until July 1, 2015 after failing to meet the 24 Nov. deadline to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement.