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Key facts of the case:
  1. The applicant, Melli Bank plc, is a public limited company incorporated and having its registered office in the United Kingdom, authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. It commenced its banking activities in the United Kingdom on 1 January 2002, following the conversion of the branch of Bank Melli Iran (‘BMI’) in that country. BMI, the parent company wholly owning the applicant, is an Iranian bank controlled by the Iranian State.
  2. This case has been brought in connection with the restrictive measures introduced in order to apply pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran to end proliferation sensitive nuclear activities and the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems (‘nuclear proliferation’).
  3. Both BMI and its subsidiaries, including the applicant, were named on the list in Annex II to Council Common Position 2007/140/CFSP of 27 February 2007 concerning restrictive measures against Iran (OJ 2007 L 61, p. 49), by means of Council Common Position 2008/479/ CFSP of 23 June 2008 amending Common Position 2007/140 (OJ 2008 L 163, p. 43).
  4. Consequently, BMI and the applicant were named in the list in Annex V to Council Regulation (EC) No 423/2007 of 19 April 2007 concerning restrictive measures against Iran (OJ 2007 L 103, p. 1), by means of Council Decision 2008/475/EC of 23 June 2008 implementing Article 7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 423/2007 (OJ 2008 L 163, p. 29), as a result of which their funds were frozen.
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
  1. Dismisses the action;
  2. Orders Melli Bank plc to bear its own costs and to pay the costs of the Council of the European Union;
  3. Orders the European Commission to bear its own costs.