The Court of Justice condemns the Council of the European Union and cancels the sanctions against the Fulmen Company and Mr Fereydoun Mahmoudian
Fereydoun Mahmoudian, Franco - Iranian businessman and his company Fulmen who had been wrongly associated with Iran 's nuclear program have just been cleared of all charges. Registered since 26 Jul. 2010 in the sanctions list of the Council of the European Union, they had no choice but to file a complaint against the Council of the European Union. On November 28th, 2013 the 5th Division of the Court of Justice of the European Union approved the court's decision ( dated 21/03/2012) and definitively condemned the Council of the European Union.
The Court rejected the arguments put forward by the Council, which considered that the "security" context of this case justified that the Council apply a penalty as severe as this, without having to justify it.
On May 24th, 2011, the spokesperson of the EU, Ms Maya Ketsianchich(1) asserted on the BBC channel that the sanctions list was established after extensive investigations on the basis of solid elements controlled by experts! Yet before the Court, the Council acknowledged that they had included Mr Mahmoudian and his company on its blacklist upon proposal by a Member State, without any evidence or verifications on their part!
The company Fulmen and Mr Mahmoudian welcome the independent and impartial decision of the Court. They also thank all those people in Europe that in spite of the official accusing discourse maintained their trust and confidence in Fereydoun Mahmoudian and his company.
For the sake of transparency, and although there is no requirement for the company to do so, Fulmen maintains the cooperation that it proposed over 3 years ago to the Council of the European Union and member states . Hence, Fulmen will continue to accept any type of monitoring and will allow access to all of its production sites for inspection.
The disastrous consequences of the resolution of the Council and contempt for the most basic democratic principles.
Fereydoun Mahmoudian, aged 70, graduated from the Ecole Supérieure d'Electricité ( Supelec ) in France and was granted French citizenship for " services rendered to the development of French industry in Iran." This former professor of the Polytechnic University of Tehran, which had no connection with the Iranian political officials or their nuclear program officers, lost on July 27, 2010 all of his assets, including his retirement pension, that were frozen or confiscated by French and European authorities. Without the help of his family and French friends, he would not even have been able to meet his basic needs! In fact, it took more than a year of efforts to unblock the funds needed for his basic living expenses, including food and health care.
Many families in Iran as well as in Europe were also victims of this situation. In France, the 40 employees of the Industrial company, Codefa Connectique, a subsidiary of Fulmen in France, lost their jobs as this subcontractor to the automotive industry located in the Yvelines (France) had to file for bankruptcy. In Germany, major investments in the area of electrical equipment were discontinued for lack of funding. In Iran, the loss of hundreds of jobs caused by these measures directly and indirectly affected many families.
Shortcomings of France in this affair
Several factual errors in this case show that France and the Council did not exercise adequate control over the information that was the basis of the contested decision.
Many letters sent to the French representatives and politicians remained unanswered. Apparently, when it comes to security issues, our elected officials have no power or desire to exercise any control over the services involved.
Appeal to elected officials
As a French citizen, Fereydoun Mahmoudian appeals to the conscience of all those for whom the defense of human rights and freedoms is just as important as the vital interests related to the security of the state to ensure that there will never again be any exception granted to a principle as fundamental as the presumption of innocence and that a citizen cannot be condemned without a trial.
Indeed, if the sanctions are a diplomatic tool for the EU to ensure its security, these can nevertheless be very intrusive measures and, when diverted from their legitimate objectives, they can pose a real threat to the rights of individuals.
It is the responsibility of elected officials from all political tendencies to pass and enforce laws and regulations that allow better supervision of the use of sanctions so that such abuses can no longer exist and that this tool will never be diverted for economic and commercial interests.
In particular, it is necessary to examine whether the use of such extra-judicial sanctions is tolerable when they target an individual who resides in Europe and hence for whom the European judiciary system (including the state member’s systems) can legitimately and efficiently deal with such accusations. In addition, these sanctions, which do not conform to judiciary processes, must never become a substitute for criminal law. Should not sanctions stop against an individual as soon as he can demonstrate that he does not represent any risk with regard to the aims of the sanctions?
(1) Intervention Maya Ketsianchich BBC on May 24, 2011 : http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/2011/05/110524_l11_eu_sanctions_salehi.shtml