The EU’s highest court decides two appeals concerning EU sanctions against Iran

On 28 November 2013, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) gave judgment in two appeals by the Council of the EU against judgments of the General Court (GC) annulling the asset freezes imposed by the Council on two Iranian companies, Manufacturing Support & Procurement Kala Naft Company (Kala Naft) and Fulmen, and Fulmen’s majority shareholder and chairman, M.

The CJEU set aside the judgement of the GC in Kala Naft and maintained its designation, but dismissed the appeal in Fulmen. The appeal in Fulmen in particular has been watched closely because it was the first case in which the GC found in favour of persons designated, as part of the EU’s sanctions against Iran over concerns about aspects of the latter’s nuclear programme, because of the lack of evidence upon which the designations were made. Since then, the GC has annulled the designations of a number of other persons on similar grounds.

However, the judgment in Kala Naft may cause some concern because the CJEU interpreted the criteria for designation much more widely than the GC, which has generally taken a relatively narrow view…

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