European Court: Iran’s Bank Mellat ‘Unfairly Sanctioned’

By John Lee.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Iran’s Bank Mellat was unfairly sanctioned by having its assets frozen due to alleged involvement in nuclear proliferation.

The European Council had claimed that Bank Mellat, which is 80 percent owned by private Iranian investors and 20 percent by the Iranian state, supported and facilitated Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

But Thursday’s ruling from the European Union’s top court, finding that “an error of law” had been made, paves the way for possible claims against the UK.

Reuters quotes a lawyer for the bank as saying that the judgment “should have a significant impact on the principle of the rule of law … This strengthens our $4 billion claim for damages … The significant aspect of this ruling is that anybody who has been a victim of unlawful listing, or who considers themselves, can now bring a claim.

He added that Bank Mellat would press for damages from the UK, with a hearing scheduled in October, and could consider damages against the European Council.

(Source: WSJ, Reuters, The Guardian)

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