EU to impose sanctions again on Iranian shipping companies

Published March 24th, 2015 - 05:37 GMT

The EU will be reimposing sanctions on 40 more Iranian shipping companies, a blow to the country's transport sector that was seeking fewer restrictions on trade, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Letters from the European Council showed its response to court verdicts that have overturned its sanctions on Iranian firms. The 40 businesses were placed on the union's blacklist because of its connections with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), which the EU believed to support questionable nuclear activities. 

The European Council had sent the letters, dated March 12, to the firms' lawyer and said the companies were either controlled by IRISL or supporting it with services or products.

"The [EU] Council looks at every judgment carefully and explores all choices available. A discussion on the cases you mention ... will be held in the working party this week," an EU diplomat told Reuters.

Maryam Taher, lawyer for the companies, told Reuters no evidence justifies the sanctions and the claims are "purely politically motivated."

"The whole purpose of the EU sanctions is to leverage pressure on the Iranian government to come to an agreement in relation to nuclear proliferation," she said.

The report comes at a time when the US and Iran are trying to outline a nuclear agreement, a deal President Barack Obama called "a historical opportunity." 

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