The House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee has cleared measures published by the EU in November 2015 relisting the Oil Industry Pension Fund Investment Company in its targeted Iran sanctions (see previous blog). OPIC is one of several people and entities to have been re-listed on the EU’s sanctions lists following a successful annulment application in the European court (on which see here). The Committee’s summary is here.
Although it cleared the measures, the Committee noted that the standard by which Minister for Europe David Lidington assessed the evidence for OPIC’s relisting, that it was “sufficient for the Council, in the event of a challenge, to defend its relisting decision”, was lower than the standard sought by the Committee when it first considered the matter, that the evidence “was sufficiently robust either to deter or to withstand further legal challenge”. The Committee also criticised Mr Lidington’s reasons for not providing information to Parliament on what public domain information is held by the Council in relation to OPIC, and stated that it finds it unlikely that either the UK Government or the EU Council will be able to enforce the confidentiality of this information or sustain it if challenged. The same Committee kept the re-listings of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) and Mr Golparvar under scrutiny last March (see previous blog).