EU Council reverses sanctions on former chairman of Bank Mellat
06 Aug, 2012
The Council of the European Union, in its decision on 3rd August 2012, has reversed its decision to place punitive sanctions against Dr Ali Divandari, the former chairman of Bank Mellat, the largest private bank in Iran.
Sarosh Zaiwalla (pictured) of Zaiwalla & Co., who handled the case in the European Court of Justice, said: “This is good news. The EU Council has finally recognised that the inclusion of Dr Divandari in the list of organisations and individuals on which sanctions have been imposed for Iran’s nuclear activity was unlawful. Dr Divandari will now be considering a claim for compensation against the EU Council for unlawful inclusion of his name.”
The EU Council originally decided to place punitive sanctions on Dr Ali Divandari personally in July 2010 on the basis that such an action was a legitimate part of its regime of sanctions designed to stop Iranian nuclear proliferation.
At a hearing before the General Court of the European Court of Justice in May 2012, both Bank Mellat and Dr Divandari challenged the legality of the EU Council’s sanctions.
Dr Divandari challenged his listing as unlawful on the grounds that the EU Council could not lawfully impose sanctions against private sector institutions in Iran or their employees.