7.9.2015   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 294/47


Appeal brought on 13 July 2015 by The National Iranian Gas Company against the judgment of the General Court (First Chamber) of 29 April 2015 in Case T-9/13 The National Iranian Gas Company v Council

(Case C-359/15 P)

(2015/C 294/58)

Language of the case: French

Parties

Appellant: The National Iranian Gas Company (represented by: E. Rosenfeld and S. Perrotet, avocats)

Other party to the proceedings: Council of the European Union

Form of order sought

The appellant claims that the Court should:

set aside the judgment of the General Court (First Chamber) of the European Union in Case T-9/13, notified to the appellant on 5 May 2015, in which the General Court dismissed the action for annulment brought by the National Iranian Gas Company in that case and ordered it to pay the entire costs of the proceedings;

grant the form of order sought by the appellant at first instance;

order the respondent to pay the costs of the two sets of proceedings.

Grounds of appeal and main arguments

The appellant relies on eight grounds in support of its appeal.

By its first ground of appeal, the appellant claims that the General Court erred in law in finding, in paragraph 82 of its judgment, that Decision 2012/635 (1) had been taken by the Council pursuant to Article 29 TEU and by drawing the conclusion, in paragraph 84, that that decision did not have to be subject to the requirements laid down in Article 215(2) TFEU. The General Court, it submits, also erred in law by holding, in paragraph 90 of its judgment, that the Council was correct to provide for implementing powers pursuant to the provisions of Article 291(2) TFEU. In addition, the Council also erred in law by finding that the conditions laid down for relying on Article 291(1) TFEU had been satisfied. Article 215 TFEU, it argues, is the only procedure applicable to restrictive measures. Article 291(2) TFEU could not therefore be applied since that article is applicable only to measures necessitating implementing measures. Measures for the freezing of funds are, however, in essence, implementing measures. Such measures cannot therefore fall within the substantive scope of application of Article 291(2) TFEU. Furthermore, the conditions laid down for recourse to Article 291(2) TFEU are not satisfied because the Council did not, in the contested decisions, properly justify its reliance on that procedure.

By its second ground of appeal, the appellant also claims that the General Court erred in law in finding that Article 20(1)(c) of Decision 2010/413 (2), as amended by Decision 2012/35 (3), Decision 2012/635 and Article 23(2)(d) of Regulation No 267/2012 (4), did not contravene the principles of legal certainty and predictability, proportionality and the right to property. The criterion of quantitative and qualitative significance referred to in paragraph 61 of the General Court’s judgment is not mentioned in the contested acts. The General Court thus artificially created it in order to uphold the contested acts. In addition, that criterion is in itself vague, imprecise and disproportionate. The General Court therefore erred in law in finding that the fact that the appellant had transferred a contribution to the Iranian State constituted support within the meaning of the contested acts.

By its third ground of appeal, the appellant claims that the General Court erred in law in paragraphs 116 and 117 of its judgment in holding that the contested acts were sufficiently reasoned, whereas the General Court itself recognised in paragraph 115 of that judgment that the contested acts did not take account of the extent and the detailed arrangements of the support attributed to the appellant. Furthermore, the appellant was unable, on a reading of the contested acts, to understand the reasons for which it had been sanctioned, a fact which points to an inadequacy in the reasoning.

By its fourth ground of appeal, the appellant claims that the General Court erred in law in finding, in paragraph 141 of its judgment, that the failure to re-examine the position of the appellant within the prescribed period was not capable of rendering unlawful its maintenance on the list of sanctioned entities despite the fact that that obligation is one which is strictly objective.

By its fifth ground of appeal, the appellant claims that the General Court erred in law in finding that the contested decisions did not infringe the appellant’s fundamental rights and were not disproportionate notwithstanding the fact that those contested decisions were vague and imprecise. Similarly, the criterion of quantitative and qualitative significance laid down by the General Court was inherently arbitrary.

By its sixth ground of appeal, the appellant claims that the General Court erred in law in paragraphs 163 and 164 of its judgment in finding that the appellant was supporting the Iranian Government on the ground that it had transferred a mandatory contribution despite the fact that that contribution was merely a tax and that the appellant was in the same situation as any ordinary taxpayer.

By its seventh ground of appeal, the appellant claims that the General Court failed to find that the Council had contravened the principle of non-discrimination by sanctioning the appellant for having transferred a contribution to the Iranian State, without sanctioning all of the undertakings which were subject to that contribution.

By its final ground of appeal, the appellant claims that the General Court erred in law by substituting grounds in paragraph 159 of its judgment.


(1)  Council Decision 2012/635/CFSP of 15 October 2012 amending Decision 2010/413/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against Iran (OJ 2012 L 282, p. 58).

(2)  Council Decision 2010/413/CFSP of 26 July 2010 concerning restrictive measures against Iran and repealing Common Position 2007/140/CFSP (OJ 2010 L 195, p. 39).

(3)  Council Decision 2012/35/CFSP of 23 January 2012 amending Decision 2010/413/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against Iran (OJ 2012 L 19, p. 22).

(4)  Council Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 of 23 March 2012 concerning restrictive measures against Iran and repealing Regulation (EU) No 961/2010 (OJ 2012 L 88, p. 1).