On 5 May 2015, the General Court of the EU (the “General Court”), in Petropars Companies v Council of the EU Case T-433/13, allowed an application for the annulment of Iran sanctions in so far as they concerned two out of four applicants. Pursuant to Council Decision 2013/270/DFSP, amending Council Decision 2010/413/CFSP, and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 522/2013, implementing Council Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 (together, the “Contested Legislation”), four Iranian companies (i) Petropars Iran Co. (“PPI”), (ii) Petropars Oilfields Services Co. (“POSCO”), (iii) Petropars Aria Kish Operation and Management Co. (“POMC”), and (iv) Petropars Resources Engineering Kish Co. (“PRE”) were added to the Iran sanctions list for being involved in nuclear activities and providing support to the Government of Iran.

The applicants relied on four pleas in law to support their application for annulment, claiming: (1) there was no legal basis for the applicants’ designation; (2) an error of assessment by the EU; (3) a violation of the applicants’ fundamental rights and the principle of proportionality; and (4) a failure to notify two of the applicants, along with violations of the obligation to state reasons, the rights of defence, and effective judicial protection.

The General Court dismissed all pleas concerning PPI and POSCO, and both entities remain subject to sanctions.

The General Court held there was an error of assessment in respect of POMC and PRE and therefore the Contested Legislation in respect of these two applicants will be annulled. The restrictive measures against POMC and PRE will remain in force for two months until the time for an appeal by the Council has expired.