The General Court of the European Union has held in Case T-58/12, Nabipour & Ors v Council, that the designation of 11 individuals under the EU’s restrictive measures against Iran was improper, and ordered the EU Decisions and Regulations which resulted in the designation to be annulled. All of the individuals in question had alleged links to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (“IRISL”) or to companies linked to IRISL.
In giving its reasons, the court stated that since the designation of IRISL had been determined to be unlawful, any designation based on links to IRISL must also fail. The court considered that even if IRISL had not prevailed in its own case, in respect of 7 of the 11 individuals the Council had failed to prove that they held a “principal managerial position” such that they were “capable of influencing the activities alleged against the company”. The Council now has two months to appeal the decision.