To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
On September 8, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the Court) ruled in Ministry of Energy of Iran v. Council to dismiss the application of the Ministry of Energy of Iran (the Ministry) to be removed from the EU sanctions list. The Ministry was initially included in Iranian anti-nuclear proliferation sanctions as it is “[r]esponsible for policy in the energy sector, which provides a substantial source of revenue for the Iranian Government.” The Court found that the Ministry’s “right of defense” had been infringed when the Council took fifteen months, “an unreasonable length of time,” to respond to the Ministry’s observations regarding its inclusion on the sanctions list. The Court further considered whether the breach of the right of defense warranted an annulment of the Council’s measure, but found that it was not warranted as “the objective of the provisions requiring the Council to respond to observations submitted by the person or entity concerned was met, albeit belatedly, and the Council’s breach therefore no longer adversely affects the applicant.” The Court also found no error in the determination that the Ministry provided support to the Iranian government, noting “that the applicant’s activities in the electricity export sector provide a source of income to the Iranian Government and thus constitute support for the latter, in the form of financial support,” even if though the Ministry uses the funds it generates to subsidize electricity costs of Iranian citizens and thus operates at a loss in some areas. The Court also addressed the Ministry’s claim that the measures were a disproportionate infringement of fundamental rights such as the right to property and the right to carry on economic activity and ruled that “given the prime importance of the preservation of international peace and security, the difficulties caused to the applicant are not disproportionate to the ends pursued.”