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EU reimposes sanctions on Iranian bank and 32 shipping companies

The EU reimposed sanctions on an Iranian bank and 32 Iranian shipping companies yesterday, using new legal grounds, after the measures were struck down by a European court.

Coming days after Iran and six major powers reached a framework agreement to end a long-running dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme, the EU’s move is a signal that the 28-nation bloc will keep up sanctions pressure on Iran until a final nuclear deal is sealed.

The EU’s second-highest court annulled an EU asset freeze on Bank Tejarat and 40 Iranian shipping companies in January, finding fault with the legal grounds given by the EU.

The EU, as it has done in other cases, responded by relisting Bank Tejarat and 32 of the Iranian shipping firms, including Hamburg-based Ocean Capital Administration GmbH, using new legal grounds.

Eight firms were not put back on the list published in the EU’s Official Journal yesterday. The measures take immediate effect.

The framework agreement, reached last Thursday in Switzerland, clears the way for negotiations on a settlement aimed at allaying Western fears that Iran wants to build an atomic bomb and in return lift economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Sanctions on Iran will only be lifted after a final deal, which the six powers and Iran aim to reach by June 30.

The shipping firms were all listed because they are owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, which was previously put under sanctions.

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