7 Iran Sanctions |
||Legally and politically important |
|Committee's decision||Not cleared from scrutiny; further information requested
|Document details||Council Decision 2014/776 amending Decision 2010/413 concerning restrictive measures against Iran
|Legal base||Article 29 TEU and Article 23 of Decision 2010/413; unanimity
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Summary and Committee's conclusions
7.1 Decision 2014/413 sets out a range of restrictive
measure against Iran in response to its nuclear programme. Its
Annexes list the individuals and entities subject to these measures,
with the reasons for their listing.
7.2 This Decision, adopted on 7 November, adjusts
those Annexes by relisting one individual and three entities whose
previous listings had been annulled by judgments of the General
Court of the European Union, either for breach of the right of
defence or because the reasons for the original listing were inadequate.
The Decision also updates the reasons for listing a further three
entities and removes from the list another entity which was listed
on the grounds that it was a front company for another entity
whose listing was struck down by the General Court on 28 November
7.3 We note that the General Court judgments in
the cases brought by Babak Sanjani,
Sorinet Commercial Trust Bankers
and Sharif University of Technology
maintained the restrictive measures in effect against these entities
for further short periods pending appeal and that these periods
appear to have expired before the adoption of this Decision. In
a recent similar situation the Council replaced a restrictive
measure before the restrictive measures lapsed.
We ask the Minister (Mr David Lidington) to confirm whether the
restrictive measures against these entities did indeed lapse;
if so why it was not possible to adopt this Decision before this
happened; and whether any gap in the restrictive measures has
led to adverse consequences.
7.4 The underlying reason for the listing of Arya
Niroo Nik was removed by a General Court judgment of 28 November
2013. We ask for an explanation for the delay in delisting this
entity and whether this delay has created any risk of action against
7.5 The Committee normally accepts that restrictive
measures must be adopted without previous Parliamentary scrutiny
in order to prevent the entity concerned having prior notice of
the measures. In this case this risk did not arise at all in respect
of the entities whose details were merely updated, nor in the
case of the entity delisted. In respect of the entities relisted
there could, theoretically, have been a risk of damage from a
tip-off. However we should be grateful if the Minister could indicate
the extent to which, there was, in practice, any risk of significant
damage such as to make a scrutiny override unavoidable.
7.6 We retain this matter under scrutiny pending
a response from the Minister.
Full details of the document: Council
Decision 2014/776/CFSP of 7 November 2014 amending Decision 2010/413/CFSP
concerning restrictive measures against Iran: (36504),.
The Explanatory Memorandum of 17 November 2014
7.7 The Minister for Europe explains that Decision
2014/776 relists three entities (Sina Bank, Sorinet Commercial
Trust Bankers and Sharif University of Technology) and one individual
(Babak Zanjani) on new grounds with amended Statements of Reasons,
after their listings were annulled at the EU General Court in
June and July 2014. The Council Decision also delists an entity,
Arya Niroo Nik, and updates the information for three other listed
entities (Power Plants' Equipment Manufacturing Company, Naftiran
Intertrade Company (NICO) and Naftiran Intertrade Company Srl).
7.8 In relation to the relistings he provides the
following further detail:
"In keeping with the Joint Plan of Action
agreed between the E3+3 and Iran in November 2013, the bulk of
EU and US sanctions remain in place until we reach a comprehensive
settlement with Iran. Iran must remain motivated to engage on
negotiating a comprehensive agreement. We are continuing to enforce
existing sanctions rigorously, including through revised designations.
"The EU Council's decision to relist Babak
Zanjani, Sina Bank, Sorinet Commercial Trust Bankers and Sharif
University of Technology was made on the basis of further evidence
submitted to the EU Council. The EU Council reviewed this evidence
and reached agreement that the individual and entities should
be listed on new grounds. Sharif University of Technology was
listed for providing support to the Government of Iran in the
form of 'a significant record of engagement
in military or
military-related fields'. The individual and other three entities
were listed for providing financial support to the Government
"These relistings are not new pressure.
We are clear that these designation measures are a crucial part
of maintaining consistent pressure on the Iranian Government Where
the Courts have given a judgment/direction, it is right that the
EU responds appropriately to emerging case law when applying designation
7.9 The Minister indicates that the updates concern
either the name (in one case - Power Plants' Equipment Manufacturing
Company (Saakhte Tajhizate Niroogahi) or the contact details (in
respect of all three).
7.10 In respect of the delisting he comments that
the reasons for listing Arya Niroo Nik were that it was 'a front
company used by Fulmen for some of its operation'. The listing
of Fulmen was struck down by the Court of Justice of the European
Union on 28 November 2013 (Case C-280/12 P). The EU Council therefore
decided that there were no longer grounds to list Arya Niroo Nik,
and so it has been delisted.
The Minister's Letter of 17 November 2014
7.11 In his letter the Minister confirms that he
takes his responsibility to keep the Committee informed on issues
concerning Iran sanctions seriously but on this occasion an override
of scrutiny was unavoidable.
Previous Committee Reports
17 T-155/13. Back
See Fifteenth Report HC 219-xv (2014-15), chapter 12 (22 October