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NITC Seeks Removal From EU Sanctions List
NITC Seeks Removal From EU Sanctions List

NITC Seeks Removal From EU Sanctions List

NITC Seeks Removal From EU Sanctions List

The National Iranian Oil Company has filed an appeal with a European court asking to be removed from a list of Iranian companies sanctioned by the EU, NITC's managing director Sirous Kianersi said.
Following the enforcement of tougher sanctions against Iran in 2012, NITC was blacklisted by the EU, but some sanctions were revoked in 2014 after NITC pleas to an EU court of law to ease the unjust restrictions.
Nonetheless, the EU imposed a new set of sanctions on NITC in 2015. According to Reuters, European Union governments agreed in February 2015 to put the NITC, Iran's state tanker company, back on a list of sanctioned firms. The EU's second-highest court ruled in July 2015 there were no grounds to blacklist the NITC after the company contested the designation, but the EU said it sought legal means to keep the company on the list of companies under asset freezes.
"We appealed to the EU Court of Justice in November that re-sanctioning the NITC (in Feb. 2015) was against the law and are now waiting for the court's decision," Kianersi told Tasnim News Agency. The court said in a statement in March last year that it "upholds the freezing of the National Iranian Oil Company’s funds for the period from 16 October 2012 until its removal from the list on 16 January 2016".
Kianersi did not provide details on NITC's frozen assets, but said that sanctions related to the company's assets had little impact on the operations of its large tanker fleet.
Since the lifting of international sanctions against Tehran last year, "restrictions pertaining to the insurance and classification of our tankers have been largely eliminated and foreign companies have shown strong interest to resume working relations with NITC," Kianersi said. NITC has said it has no plans to expand its fleet of nearly 70 tankers of all sizes.
NITC operates one of the world's largest tanker fleet ahead of regional rival Saudi Arabia as well as Qatar, Oman and the UAE, according to the United Nations' 2015 Maritime Transport report. Reportedly, Iran has 42 very large crude carriers (VLCCs), nine Suezmaxes, five Aframaxes and several other ships, with the fleet’s average age at around 8.5 years.  
"We have leased 30 tankers to foreign companies since the sanctions removal (in January 2016) and negotiations have been held to lease more tankers" by March, the end of the current Iranian fiscal year.
"We have plans to renovate our tanker fleet and replace some of the aging vessels under a five-year program," the NITC chief was quoted as saying.

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