On 2 June, Steptoe & Johnson published an article concerning a case in which Iranian bank Bank Melli Iran, which has a branch in Hamburg, and which claims before the German Courts that the notice of ordinary termination given by Telekom Deutschland with respect to their contracts for telecommunication services was motivated solely by Telekom Deutschland’s desire to comply with US sanctions legislation. This, it argues, was contrary to the EU Blocking Statute, which prohibits EU undertakings from complying with such extraterritorial US measures. In the Opinion, which is not binding but is persuasive for EU courts, the Advocate General suggests that even though the EU Blocking Statute is not aimed at protecting third-country entities directly targeted by US measures, it confers on such entities, like Bank Melli Iran, a right of action. Importantly, the Opinion says that it must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the national court concerned that the cancellation was not motivated by a desire to comply with the non-EU sanctions.
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