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Sunday, May 29, 2011

German-based Iranian bank fighting EU sanctions

The Hamburg, Germany-based Europäisch- Iranische Handelsbank (EIH) is announcing on its website that it will fight European Union sanctions over its participation in Iran's nuclear weapons program.
According to a report in the German-language edition of the Financial Times on Thursday, EIH will mount a legal challenge to the European Union decision to sanction its operations because of its involvement in Iran’s nuclear-proliferation program.

The Financial Times said it was the first instance of a EU-sanctioned institution seeking to invoke EU-legal measures to prevent its closure.

Harald Hohmann, a German- export lawyer representing EIH, told the paper that the proof does not meet the standards of closure, and he will litigate the matter before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Last Monday, the EU listed the EIH as a sanctioned entity, froze its accounts and prohibited the 27 EU member countries from engaging in financial transactions with the German-based bank. The EU explained that EIH conducted business with other sanctioned Iran banks.

“As of October 2010, EIH was continuing to act as a conduit for payments by sanctioned Iranian banks, including Bank Mellat and Bank Saderat,” the EU statement read.
What could go wrong?

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