Iranian bank suing UK Treasury for illegal sanctions

Iranian bank suing UK Treasury for illegal sanctions
Sun Feb 16, 2014 16:03:48

The Mellat Bank is suing the UK Treasury for some USD 4 billion in compensation for loss of business caused by the illegal sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear energy program, lawyers for the bank say.

In a filing on Friday with London’s Commercial Court, Mellat Bank’s lawyers, Zaiwalla & Co., said the bank is seeking USD 3.98 billion in reparation for lost international businesses due to the illegal bans.

A spokesman for the UK Treasury has refused to comment on the issue.

On June 19, 2013, Britain’s Supreme Court overturned a ruling against Mellat Bank over its alleged links to Iran’s nuclear energy program.

The highest British court ruled that the UK government was wrong to have imposed sanctions on the Iranian bank in 2009, and that the Treasury directive was “irrational” and “disproportionate.”

The European Union General Court decided in January to quash the sanctions imposed against Mellat Bank in July 2010.

Western countries have taken a wide range of steps against Iranian companies in recent years including freezing their assets, blocking trade and preventing them from doing business with Western banks in an effort to hinder the progress of Iran’s nuclear energy program.

At the beginning of 2012, the US and the European Union imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

The US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran has rejected the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.


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