London’s High Court Judge Nicholas Green said on Monday that EU governments are due to re-include National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) on a blacklist of people and entities targeted by the bloc’s sanctions.
NITC vessels are known to engage in name and flagging changes, ship-to-ship oil transfers and blending of Iranian oil in order to disguise the origins of its crude and circumvent international sanctions.
Despite its attempts to conceal the identity and whereabouts of its vessels, the Iranian regime’s oil smuggling tactics are becoming increasingly known and accounted for.
NITC announced in October that EU sanctions against it had been annulled. It is still blacklisted by the United States.
The sanctions had prohibited any trade between the EU, its companies and citizens, and NITC, including the provision of services such as insurance or banking.
With Brussels expected to imminently put NITC back on the blacklist, the tanker firm went to the London High Court on Friday seeking an urgent injunction to compel Britain to veto the EU decision, which has to be unanimous.
The court rejected NITC’s application for an injunction, and scheduled a hearing early on Monday for Judge Green to give the reasons for the ruling.
The judge said that for the court to force the British government to veto sanctions would have been “wholly exceptional” and risked causing “tangible difficulties for the policy behind the sanctions regime”