An Iranian bank is challenging UK sanctions  against it in the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
On Tuesday, Bank Mellat appealed to the court against the sanctions imposed over its alleged links to Iran’s nuclear energy program. The British government imposed the sanctions in 2009, but it has failed to provide evidence that the bank indirectly facilitated Iran’s nuclear energy program. The bank announced that it has been unable to defend itself over allegations of indirectly facilitating Iran’s nuclear program because a lower court heard the case behind closed doors. London has urged the Supreme Court  to consider the secret material as part of its deliberations on the bank's appeal, but Bank Mellat has said that would be unfair as it has not received any evidence from the secret hearing. The sanctions against Bank Mellat, which came into force in October 2009, prevent anyone in the British financial sector from having any business relationship or conducting any transactions with the bank. Bank Mellat won a similar legal battle against EU sanctions in January. At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the EU 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 sanctions took effect last summer. On October 15, 2012, the EU foreign ministers reached an agreement on another round of sanctions against Iran . The US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) , it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.