Op-Ed: “Request for a preliminary ruling in Bank Melli Iran case: to what extent can EU operators be compelled to maintain their business relationship with Iranian companies?” by Celia Challet
A highly interesting judgment of the Court of Justice is expected in the field of sanctions against Iran. In the framework of its Bank Melli Iran case (C-124/20), the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Hamburg (Germany) has requested a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of Article 5(1) of the Blocking Regulation. This provision states that no EU legal and natural persons shall comply with any requirement or prohibition, including requests of foreign courts, that result from laws that are listed in the Annex of the Regulation. In other words, this Article prohibits, inter alia, EU operators from complying with US sanctions against Iran.
The background to this case lies in a dispute between an Iranian operator, Bank Melli Iran