The European Court of Justice Weighs in on EU Sanctions on Iranian BusinessesPosted: December 4, 2013 Filed under: Nuclear 4 Comments
I recently came across a high quality blog that covers European sanctions law and policy. I recommend it highly to readers. There’s a lot of good material on the blog about the EU’s sanctions on Iranian businesses, and the line of EU court cases that have considered them, and in several instances now struck them down as violative of principles of due process, as I explained here.
The most recent post on the blog is an excellent commentary by Maya Lester on two recent European Court of Justice cases, that were appeals of two of these EU General Court cases. Lester is right to say that these ECJ cases are extremely important in providing guidance to the General Court, and to national courts within the EU, on European law regarding such sanctions. Lester gives a very good analysis, concluding that the ECJ appears to generally agree with the reasoning of the General Court, with a few significant exceptions. A must read on EU law regarding sanctions on Iran.
I must say I’m rather surprised. So the ECJ considers the entire energy sector to be a proliferation risk “by virtue of the revenue generated [through it].” If generating revenue makes something a proliferation risk, then why not target other sectors of the economy? This seems no different than the approach of Congress, and ignores the humanitarian consequences of blanket economic sanctions.
I think so long as the nuclear program does not take up a considerable portion of the annual budget–and I very much doubt that Iran’s program consumes more than 1% of their budget–economic sanctions are both pointless and immoral. The government can keep funding the program as before, even after crippling sanctions. The only thing that truly affects the development of the nuclear program is targeted sanctions on high-tech goods.
The US sanctions are based on nuclear PLUS several other issues that the US has with Iran.
Iran sanctions bases:
–illicit nuclear activities
–human rights abuses
–development of unconventional weapons and ballistic missiles
–support for international terrorism
–computer and network disruption, monitoring, and tracking
I’m sure that AIPAC wouldn’t mind adding other “issues” to the Congress to-do list.
–badly shined shoes
They’re working on it.
So the “Iran nuclear issue” is totally concocted, just a way for anti-Iran
diplomatschildren to get attention.
According to Iran government’s annual budget law for the current Persian year, the annual budget for Atomic Energy Organization of Iran is about 7900 billion Rls, which constitutes about 0.62% of the total annual government budget. It’s also noteworthy that apparently only about 10% of that budget goes to enrichment-related activities (most goes into Bushehr completion, uranium exploration/mining, work on Darkhovin light water plant and other low-sensitivity activities).
There seem to be two main commerce areas that may open soon for EU countries as a result of the six power – Iran agreement.
–oil — Shipping companies and insurance, several countries, and possibly foreign investment under some scheme involving say Royal dutch Shell and/or FINA.
-autos — Here we’re talking France, which is in dire economic straits under Hollande, the friend of Israel/KSA who was the devil of the agreement talks. Peugeot & Renault, also in dire financial conditions, badly want to get back into Iran with its huge pent-up demand for cars.
The potential movement of large corporations (back) into Iran would make other (political, legal) issues largely irrelevant if it in fact happened.
Oh — there is also movement in the Gulf, with Zarif visiting Qatar recently. Iran and Qatar co-own a huge gas field, and gas is badly needed in Europe and Pakistan.
If the US administration can restrain the Congress for awhile, there could be some irreversible done deals.