Language of document : ECLI:EU:T:2016:86

JUDGMENT OF THE GENERAL COURT (Seventh Chamber)

18 February 2016 (*)

(Common foreign and security policy — Restrictive measures adopted against Iran with the aim of preventing nuclear proliferation — Freezing of funds — Admission restriction — Action for annulment — No need to adjudicate — Non-contractual liability — Sufficiently serious breach of a rule of law conferring rights on individuals — Non-material damage)

In Case T‑328/14,

Mahmoud Jannatian, residing in Tehran (Iran), represented by I. Smith Monnerville and S. Monnerville, lawyers,

applicant,

v

Council of the European Union, represented by F. Naert and M. Bishop, acting as Agents,

defendant,

ACTION for the annulment of 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), Council Decision 2010/644/CFSP of 25 October 2010 amending Decision 2010/413 (OJ 2010 L 281, p. 81), Council Regulation (EU) No 961/2010 of 25 October 2010 on restrictive measures against Iran and repealing Regulation (EC) No 423/2007 (OJ 2010 L 281, p. 1), and 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), as well as Council Implementing Regulations (EU) No 350/2012 of 23 April 2012, No 709/2012 of 2 August 2012, No 945/2012 of 15 October 2012, No 1264/2012 of 21 December 2012, No 522/2013 of 6 June 2013, No 1203/2013 of 26 November 2013, and No 397/2014 of 16 April 2014 implementing Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 (OJ 2012 L 110, p. 17, OJ 2012 L 208, p. 2, OJ 2012 L 282, p. 16, OJ 2012 L 356, p. 55, OJ 2013 L 156, p. 3, OJ 2013 L 316, p. 1, and OJ 2014 L 119, p. 1, respectively), in so far as those acts concern the applicant, and a claim for compensation for the damage which he claims to have suffered,

THE GENERAL COURT (Seventh Chamber),

composed of M. van der Woude (Rapporteur), President, I. Wiszniewska-Białecka and I. Ulloa Rubio, Judges,

Registrar: S. Spyropoulos, Administrator,

having regard to the written procedure and further to the hearing on 17 September 2015,

gives the following

Judgment

 Background to the dispute

1        The present case has been brought in connection with the restrictive measures introduced in order to apply pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran to end proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities and the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.

2        The applicant, Mr Mahmoud Jannatian, is an Iranian citizen who has spent the entirety of his career in the Iranian energy sector.

3        By Common Position 2008/479/CFSP of 23 June 2008 amending Common Position 2007/140/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against Iran (OJ 2008 L 163, p. 43) and by Decision 2008/475/EC of 23 June 2008 implementing Article 7(2) of Regulation (EC) No 423/2007 concerning restrictive measures against Iran (OJ 2008 L 163, p. 29), the Council of the European Union decided to include the applicant’s name in the lists of persons and entities which are subject to restrictive measures (‘the lists’). Those lists were amended on several occasions.

4        On 26 July 2010, the Council adopted Decision 2010/413/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against Iran and repealing Common Position 2007/140/CFSP (OJ 2010 L 195, p. 39). By that decision, the Council kept the applicant’s name on the lists.

5        By Decision 2010/644/CFSP of 25 October 2010 amending Decision 2010/413 (OJ 2010 L 281, p. 81), the Council kept the applicant’s name on the lists. Regulation (EU) No 961/2010 of 25 October 2010 on restrictive measures against Iran and repealing Regulation (EC) No 423/2007 (OJ 2010 L 281, p. 1) also kept the applicant’s name on the lists.

6        By 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), the Council kept the applicant’s name on the lists.

7        Decisions 2010/413 and 2010/644 and Regulations No 961/2010 and No 267/2012 were the subject of a previous action for annulment brought by the applicant before the General Court. By an order of 20 February 2014 in Jannatian v Council (T‑187/13, EU:T:2014:134), the Court declared the action inadmissible. The applicant did not bring an appeal against that order.

8        Subsequently, the Council adopted Implementing Regulations (EU) No 350/2012 of 23 April 2012, No 709/2012 of 2 August 2012, No 945/2012 of 15 October 2012, No 1264/2012 of 21 December 2012, No 522/2013 of 6 June 2013, No 1203/2013 of 26 November 2013 and No 397/2014 of 16 April 2014 implementing Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 (OJ 2012 L 110, p. 17, OJ 2012 L 208, p. 2, OJ 2012 L 282, p. 16, OJ 2012 L 356, p. 55, OJ 2013 L 156, p. 3, OJ 2013 L 316, p. 1, and OJ 2014 L 119, p. 1, respectively). Implementing Regulations No 945/2012, No 1264/2012 and No 522/2013 gave rise to the publication of notices in the Official Journal of the European Union on 16 October 2012 (OJ 2012 C 312, p. 21), 22 December 2012 (OJ 2012 C 398, p. 8) and 8 June 2013 (OJ 2013 C 163, p. 3) respectively.

9        In addition, on 15 March 2014 the Council published a Notice for the attention of the persons and entities subject to the restrictive measures provided for in Decision 2010/413 and in Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 (OJ 2014 C 77, p. 1), informing them that, after having reviewed the lists of persons and entities then designated in Annex II to Decision 2010/413 and in Annex IX to Regulation (EU) No 267/2012, it had determined that the restrictive measures provided for in those acts should continue to apply to those persons and entities.

10      The statement of reasons for the initial inclusion of the applicant’s name in the lists indicates that the applicant is ‘Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran’. That statement of reasons was not modified by the decisions, regulations and implementing regulations listed in paragraphs 4 to 8 above (‘the contested acts’).

 Procedure and forms of order sought

11      By application lodged at the Court Registry on 13 May 2014, the applicant brought the present action.

12      By separate document lodged the same day, the applicant also requested adjudication under an expedited procedure, in accordance with Article 76a of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court of 2 May 1991. That request was refused by decision of the Court of 13 June 2014.

13      By document lodged at the Court Registry on 1 July 2014, the Council raised an objection of inadmissibility pursuant to Article 114 of the Rules of Procedure of 2 May 1991.

14      By document lodged at the Court Registry on 14 August 2014, the applicant submitted his observations concerning the Council’s objection of inadmissibility.

15      By order of 10 December 2014, the Court (Seventh Chamber) decided to join the objection of inadmissibility to the substance of the case.

16      As part of the measures of organisation of procedure, the Court asked the Council to respond in writing to certain questions. The Council submitted its responses within the prescribed period.

17      The applicant claims that the Court should:

–        dismiss the objection of inadmissibility and declare the action admissible;

–        annul the contested acts, in so far as those acts concern him;

–        order the Council to pay compensation in the amount of EUR 40 000 for the damage incurred following the wrongful inclusion of his name in the lists, adding that that amount may be subject to review;

–        order the Council to pay the costs.

18      The Council contends that the Court should:

–        dismiss the action as inadmissible;

–        in the alternative, dismiss the action as unfounded;

–        dismiss the claim for compensation as unfounded;

–        order the applicant to pay the costs.

19      By document lodged at the Court Registry on 10 September 2015, the applicant asked the Court to rule that there was no need to adjudicate in so far as the action was seeking the annulment of the contested acts.

20      By document lodged at the Court Registry on 16 September 2015, the Council submitted its observations concerning the request for a ruling that there was no need to adjudicate on part of the action.

21      At the hearing, having heard the parties, the Court decided to join the request for a ruling that there was no need to adjudicate to the substance of the case, in accordance with Article 130(7) of its Rules of Procedure.

22      In addition, at the hearing, in response to a question put by the Court, the Council stated that it would no longer pursue the objection of inadmissibility raised in respect of the request for annulment in the event of the Court deciding that there was no need to adjudicate on that request.

 Law

 Request for a ruling that there is no need to adjudicate on part of the action

23      The applicant submits that it is appropriate to rule that there is no need to adjudicate on his request for annulment of the contested acts since, following the adoption on 25 June 2015 of Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1008 amending Decision 2010/413 (OJ 2015 L 161, p. 19) and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1001 implementing Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 (OJ 2015 L 161, p. 1), his name has been removed from the lists.

24      In its observations concerning the request for a ruling that there is no need to adjudicate on part of the action, the Council stated that it had no objection to that request.

25      It is true that, according to case-law, the interest of the applicant in bringing proceedings may continue to exist despite the removal of his name from the lists at issue (judgment of 28 May 2013 in Abdulrahim v Council and Commission, C‑239/12 P, ECR, EU:C:2013:331, paragraphs 71 and 82). However, since, in the present case, the request for a ruling that there is no need to adjudicate comes from the applicant himself, the Court finds that, in the interests of procedural economy, there is no need to adjudicate on the request seeking the annulment of the contested acts.

 Claim for compensation

26      The applicant submits that the unjustified inclusion of his name in the lists for seven years has caused him non-material damage, and argues that the conditions necessary for the European Union to incur non-contractual liability are satisfied in the present case. The damage invoked by the applicant includes, in particular, the fact that he was unable to visit his daughter (who lives in Canada) because of admission restrictions.

27      In its observations concerning the request for a ruling that there is no need to adjudicate on part of the action and at the hearing, the Council stated that the Court did not have jurisdiction to give a ruling on the applicant’s claim for compensation in so far as that claim was seeking compensation for the alleged damage resulting from admission restrictions. According to the Council, those restrictions were purely the result of the decisions adopted on the basis of provisions relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) — which are not subject to review by the Court — and not of the regulations which implemented those decisions.

 Jurisdiction of the Court as regards the claim for compensation for the damage resulting from admission restrictions

28      It should be borne in mind that, under Article 113 of the Rules of Procedure, the Court may at any time, of its own motion, after hearing the parties, rule on whether there exists any absolute bar to proceeding with a case, which, according to case-law, includes the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the action (judgments of 18 March 1980 in Ferriera Valsabbia and Others v Commission, 154/78, 205/78, 206/78, 226/78 to 228/78, 263/78, 264/78, 31/79, 39/79, 83/79 and 85/79, EU:C:1980:81, paragraph 7, and 17 June 1998 in Svenska Journalistförbundet v Council, T‑174/95, EU:T:1998:127, paragraph 80) and questions concerning the admissibility of the action (judgment of 16 December 1960 in Humblet v Belgian State, 6/60, ECR, EU:C:1960:48, pp. 1125 and 1147). However, the Court cannot, as a general rule, base its decision on pleas in law or objections of inadmissibility — even ones involving a matter of public policy — without first having invited the parties to submit their observations (see, to that effect, judgments of 2 December 2009 in Commission v Ireland and Others, C‑89/08 P, ECR, EU:C:2009:742, paragraphs 50 to 59, and 17 December 2009 in Review of M v EMEA, C‑197/09 RX II, ECR, EU:C:2009:804, paragraph 57).

29      Therefore, in the present case, although the Council’s argument concerning the admissibility of the claim for compensation for the damage resulting from admission restrictions was raised out of time, the Court may nevertheless assess whether it has jurisdiction to hear and determine that claim, as the parties were able to submit their observations in that regard at the hearing.

30      In that regard, it follows from the sixth sentence of the second paragraph of Article 24(1) TEU and the first paragraph of Article 275 TFEU that, in principle, the Court of Justice is not to have jurisdiction with respect to the provisions of primary law relating to the CFSP or with respect to legal acts adopted on the basis of those provisions. It is only on an exceptional basis that, under the second paragraph of Article 275 TFEU, the Courts of the European Union are to have jurisdiction in matters relating to the CFSP. That jurisdiction includes review of whether Article 40 TEU has been complied with and actions for annulment brought by individuals, under the conditions set out in the fourth paragraph of Article 263 TFEU, against restrictive measures adopted by the Council in connection with the CFSP. However, the second paragraph of Article 275 TFEU does not give the Court of Justice jurisdiction to hear or determine any kind of claim for compensation.

31      It must therefore be held that a claim seeking compensation for the damage allegedly suffered as a result of the adoption of an act relating to the CFSP falls outside the jurisdiction of the Court.

32      In the present case, the admission restrictions which have allegedly caused harm to the applicant are provided for only by Decision 2010/413, which was adopted on the basis of provisions relating to the CFSP. Unlike the measures for the freezing of funds, those restrictions were not implemented by the adoption of a regulation on the basis of Article 215 TFEU. Regulation No 267/2012 thus contains no provisions prohibiting the applicant from entering a Member State or travelling through such a State.

33      It must therefore be concluded that the Court does not have jurisdiction to hear or determine the applicant’s claim for compensation in so far as that claim is seeking compensation for the damage allegedly suffered as a result of admission restrictions.

 Merits of the claim for compensation for the damage resulting from other restrictive measures

34      According to settled case-law, in order for the European Union to incur non-contractual liability under the second paragraph of Article 340 TFEU for unlawful conduct of the institutions, a number of conditions must be satisfied: the institutions’ conduct must be unlawful, actual damage must have been suffered and there must be a causal link between the conduct and the damage pleaded (see judgment of 9 September 2008 in FIAMM and Others v Council and Commission, C‑120/06 P and C‑121/06 P, ECR, EU:C:2008:476, paragraph 106 and the case-law cited; judgment of 11 July 2007 in Schneider Electric v Commission, T‑351/03, ECR, EU:T:2007:212, paragraph 113).

–       Whether the Council’s conduct is unlawful

35      It is apparent from the application, in the light of which the forms of order sought by the applicant must be interpreted, and from the arguments put forward at the hearing that the applicant is complaining that the Council, without justification, included his name in the lists and kept his name on those lists from 2008 to 2015. The applicant maintains that the reason which initially led the Council to include his name in the lists — that he was Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (‘the AEOI’) and would therefore provide support for Iran’s proliferation-sensitive activities — is incorrect. According to the applicant, the decision to include his name in the lists in 2008 (‘the initial decision to include’) and the decisions by which his name was kept on those lists until June 2015 (‘the decisions to maintain’) are thus unlawful acts. In addition, the applicant argues that the Council infringed his rights of defence, erred in law and infringed the principle of proportionality.

36      It is apparent from the statement of defence and from the stance taken by the Council at the hearing that that institution is arguing that the inclusion of the applicant’s name in the lists was not unlawful. According to the Council, the adoption of restrictive measures against the leadership of the AEOI is justified because of the role of that organisation in Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities. It acknowledges that the applicant was no longer Deputy Head of the AEOI by the time his name was included in the lists but none the less considers that, because of his previous position within that organisation, there was a risk that the applicant might continue to provide support for Iran’s nuclear activities. The risk that a person may provide support for Iran’s nuclear activities is sufficient to justify the inclusion of that person’s name in the lists. Consequently, according to the Council, despite the factual inaccuracy in the statement of reasons for designating the applicant, the fact remains that that designation is justified.

37      As a preliminary point, it should be borne in mind that the initial decision to include and the decisions to maintain were based on the criterion for adopting restrictive measures in respect of persons and entities providing support for Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities. Furthermore, the decisions to maintain did not modify the reasoning relied on against the applicant, namely the fact that he was Deputy Head of the AEOI.

38      Primarily, first of all, the Council itself acknowledges in its statement of defence that the applicant terminated his employment with the AEOI in January 2007 and that, accordingly, when the initial decision to include was made in 2008 he was no longer Deputy Head of that organisation. The reasoning relied on against the applicant at the time of that inclusion was therefore incorrect. Since that reasoning was not modified when the applicant’s name was kept on the lists and that the applicant at no time resumed his employment with the AEOI, it must be held that neither the initial decision to include nor the decisions to maintain were well-founded.

39      Next, regarding the Council’s argument that the applicant’s previous employment with the AEOI was a sufficient reason for including his name in the lists and keeping his name on those lists, it should be borne in mind that the legality of the contested acts may be assessed only by reference to the elements of fact and law on the basis of which they were adopted and not by reference to information which was brought to the Council’s knowledge after the adoption of those acts, even if the Council takes the view that that information could legitimately supplement the reasoning set out in those acts and help to provide a basis for their adoption (see, to that effect, judgment of 26 October 2012 in Oil Turbo Compressor v Council, T‑63/12, ECR, EU:T:2012:579, paragraph 29).

40      Lastly, in any event, it should be pointed out that, taken in isolation, the applicant’s previous employment with the AEOI cannot justify the inclusion of his name on the lists. If the Council wished to rely on the applicant’s past activities, it was for that institution to put forward sound and consistent evidence from which it might reasonably be inferred that the applicant had maintained links with the AEOI, justifying the inclusion of his name in the lists, after the termination of his employment with that organisation (see, to that effect, judgment of 6 September 2013 in Bateni v Council, T‑42/12 and T‑181/12, EU:T:2013:409, paragraphs 64 and 65). In the present case, however, it must be held that the Council did not submit any evidence to that effect.

41      Therefore, it must be concluded that the initial inclusion of the applicant’s name in the lists and the decisions to maintain were not justified, as the Council did not establish that the applicant met the criterion relating to support for Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities.

42      However, according to settled case-law, a finding that a legal measure is unlawful, however regrettable that unlawfulness may be, is not enough to satisfy the condition for the European Union to incur non-contractual liability for the unlawfulness of the conduct of the institutions. In order for that condition to be satisfied, case-law requires that a sufficiently serious breach of a rule of law intended to confer rights on individuals be established (see, to that effect, judgment of 23 November 2011 in Sison v Council, T‑341/07, ECR, EU:T:2011:687, paragraphs 31 and 33 and the case-law cited).

43      The decisive test for a finding that that requirement has been satisfied is whether the institution concerned has manifestly and seriously disregarded the limits of its discretion. The determining factor in deciding whether there has been such a breach is therefore the discretion available to the institution concerned. It is thus apparent from the criteria of the case-law that, if the institution in question has only considerably reduced or even no discretion, the mere infringement of EU law may be sufficient to establish the existence of a sufficiently serious breach (see judgment in Sison v Council, cited in paragraph 42 above, EU:T:2011:687, paragraph 35 and the case-law cited).

44      However, that case-law does not establish any automatic link between, on the one hand, the fact that the institution concerned has no discretion and, on the other, the classification of the infringement as a sufficiently serious breach of EU law. The extent of the discretion enjoyed by the institution concerned, although determinative, is not the only yardstick. In that regard, the Court of Justice has consistently held that the system of rules developed by it with respect to the second paragraph of Article 340 TFEU also took into account, in particular, the complexity of the situations to be regulated and the difficulties in applying or interpreting the texts (see judgment in Sison v Council, cited in paragraph 42 above, EU:T:2011:687, paragraphs 36 and 37 and the case-law cited).

45      It follows that only the finding of an irregularity that an administrative authority exercising ordinary care and diligence would not have committed in similar circumstances can render the European Union liable (see judgment in Sison v Council, cited in paragraph 42 above, EU:T:2011:687, paragraph 39 and the case-law cited).

46      Consequently, it is for the Court, having first determined whether the institution concerned enjoyed any discretion, to take into consideration the complexity of the situation to be regulated, any difficulties in applying or interpreting the legislation, the clarity and precision of the rule infringed, and whether the error made was inexcusable or intentional (see judgment in Sison v Council, cited in paragraph 42 above, EU:T:2011:687, paragraph 40 and the case-law cited).

47      The Court must examine, in the light of those considerations, whether, in the present case, the Council, by including the applicant’s name in the lists and keeping his name on those lists, committed a sufficiently serious breach of a rule of law intended to confer rights on individuals.

48      Firstly, as has been stated above (see paragraphs 38 to 41), the inclusion of the applicant’s name in the lists and the keeping of his name on those lists was an infringement of the provisions permitting the adoption of restrictive measures in respect of persons and entities providing support for Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities. The reasoning relied on against the applicant did not permit a finding that he was providing such support for Iran’s nuclear activities.

49      Although the measures adopted against the Islamic Republic of Iran are essentially intended to enable the Council to impose certain restrictions on individuals’ rights in order to prevent nuclear proliferation and the financing thereof, the provisions which set forth exhaustively the conditions in which restrictions such as those at issue in the present case are permitted are, a contrario, essentially intended to protect the interests of the individuals concerned, by limiting the cases of application, extent or degree of the restrictive measures that may lawfully be imposed on those individuals (see, by analogy, judgment in Sison v Council, cited in paragraph 42 above, EU:T:2011:687, paragraph 51 and the case-law cited).

50      Such provisions thus ensure that the individual interests of the persons and entities liable to be concerned are protected, and are, therefore, to be considered to be rules of law intended to confer rights on individuals. If the substantive conditions in question are not satisfied, the person or entity concerned is entitled not to have the measures in question imposed on them. Such a right necessarily implies that the person or entity on which restrictive measures are imposed in circumstances not provided for by the provisions in question may seek compensation for the harmful consequences of those measures, if it should prove that their imposition was founded on a sufficiently serious breach of the substantive rules applied by the Council (see, by analogy, judgment in Sison v Council, cited in paragraph 42 above, EU:T:2011:687, paragraph 52 and the case-law cited).

51      Secondly, regarding the question whether the Council enjoyed any discretion, it is apparent from paragraphs 38 to 41 above that the unlawfulness of including the applicant’s name in the lists stems from the fact that the reasoning relied on by the Council against the applicant was incorrect and thus did not justify the inclusion of his name in those lists or, a fortiori, his name being kept on those lists.

52      The Council’s obligation to verify and establish that the reasoning relied on against a person or entity is well-founded before adopting restrictive measures against that person or entity arises from the requirement to observe the fundamental rights of the person or entity concerned, and in particular their right to effective judicial protection, which means that the Council does not enjoy any discretion in that regard.

53      Thus, in the present case, the Council is alleged to have committed an infringement of an obligation in respect of which it does not enjoy any discretion.

54      Thirdly, the rule requiring the Council to establish that the restrictive measures adopted are well-founded is indeed clear and precise, with the result that it does not give rise to any difficulties as regards its application or interpretation. However, account should be taken of the fact that a certain amount of time may pass between the moment when the Council receives information relating to a person or entity and the moment when it decides to include the name of that person or entity in the lists and that, during that time, the situation of the person or entity concerned may change, particularly if that person or entity is seeking to avoid having restrictive measures imposed on them. In such a situation, the Council may encounter some difficulties in establishing that the restrictive measures which it is adopting are justified.

55      Having regard to the difficulties mentioned above, it must be held that, taken in isolation, the initial decision to include cannot constitute a sufficiently serious breach, as the applicant had indeed been employed as Deputy Head of the AEOI until 2007. However, since the unjustified inclusion of the applicant’s name on the lists was then maintained for seven years (until June 2015) despite the fact that the applicant had drawn the Council’s attention to the unlawfulness of its conduct by bringing an initial action for annulment in April 2013, it must be held that the condition relating to unlawful conduct is satisfied in the present case. An administrative authority exercising ordinary care and diligence would, in the circumstances of the present case, have understood that it was for it to verify again, when adopting the decisions to maintain, whether the reasons given for the restrictive measures concerning the applicant were well-founded, and would therefore have found that the reasoning relied on against him was incorrect.

56      Consequently, by not having acted in that way, the Council has incurred liability for a sufficiently serious breach of a rule of law intended to confer rights on individuals as referred to in the case-law cited in paragraph 42 above.

–       Whether actual damage has been suffered

57      So far as the requirement for actual damage is concerned, it has been held that the European Union can incur liability only if an applicant has actually suffered ‘real and certain’ loss (judgments of 27 January 1982 in De Franceschi v Council and Commission, 51/81, EU:C:1982:20, paragraph 9; 13 November 1984 in Birra Wührer and Others v Council and Commission, 256/80, 257/80, 265/80, 267/80, 5/81, 51/81 and 282/82, ECR, EU:C:1984:341, paragraph 9; and 16 January 1996 in Candiotte v Council, T‑108/94, ECR, EU:T:1996:5, paragraph 54). It is for the applicant to produce to the Court the evidence to establish the fact and the extent of such loss (judgments of 21 May 1976 in Roquette frères v Commission, 26/74, ECR, EU:C:1976:69, paragraphs 22 to 24, and 9 January 1996 in Koelman v Commission, T‑575/93, ECR, EU:T:1996:1, paragraph 97).

58      In the present case, the applicant seeks payment of EUR 40 000 by way of compensation for the non-material damage incurred because of the unjustified inclusion of his name in the lists. In that regard, he states that he has been deprived of his right to property and his freedom of movement and that the travel ban denied him the possibility of visiting his daughter (who lives in Canada), thereby infringing his right to private and family life. In addition, he states in the reply that the restrictions on his freedom to travel also affected his professional activities and that, as a result of his name being included in the lists, it was impossible for him to carry out bank transactions in his own name. At the hearing, the applicant also stated that the restrictive measures taken against him have damaged his reputation.

59      Firstly, regarding the damage which the applicant allegedly suffered because of the admission restrictions which were imposed on him, it should be borne in mind that the Court does not have jurisdiction to hear or determine a claim for compensation for such damage (see paragraphs 28 to 33 above). The same conclusion must also be drawn regarding the damage which the applicant allegedly suffered in carrying on his professional activities, since such damage would result purely from restrictions on his freedom to travel.

60      Secondly, regarding the assertion that it was impossible for the applicant to carry out bank transfers in his own name, it must be found that the condition relating to actual damage is not satisfied. In that regard, the Court notes that, at the hearing, the applicant specified that the claim for compensation was seeking compensation only for non-material damage. However, he did not provide any explanation of how his being unable to carry out certain banking transactions caused him non-material damage. In any event, the applicant has not submitted any evidence establishing that he has been unable, as a result of his inclusion in the lists, to carry out certain bank transfers.

61      Thirdly, regarding the damage to the applicant’s reputation, the Court finds that no mention was made of such damage in either the application or the reply. Since that argument is not based on any matters of law or of fact which have come to light in the course of the proceedings, it must be rejected, pursuant to Article 84 of the Rules of Procedure, as having been raised out of time.

62      In any event, it should be borne in mind that a finding that the restrictive measures taken against a person or entity are unlawful is capable of constituting a form of reparation for the non-material damage suffered by the person or entity concerned (see, to that effect, judgment of 28 May 2013 in Abdulrahim v Council and Commission, C‑239/12 P, EU:C:2013:331, paragraph 72).

63      In the circumstances of the present case, the Court considers that any effects which the allegation that the applicant was involved in nuclear proliferation may have had on his reputation can be offset by the subsequent finding that the restrictive measures taken against him were unlawful.

64      Indeed, the applicant has not adduced any evidence to establish that the inclusion of his name in the lists affected the way in which third persons or entities behaved towards him. Therefore, it does not appear that that inclusion will be found to have attracted more attention than the subsequent finding that it was unlawful.

65      In addition, it should be noted that the inclusion of the applicant’s name in the lists does not appear to have affected him for several years. It should be borne in mind that the applicant’s name was initially included in the lists in June 2008 and that that inclusion was contested for the first time only in March 2013, when an initial action was brought before the General Court (see paragraph 7 above) in which no mention was made of any damage. Those circumstances thus tend to support the conclusion that the finding that the restrictive measures taken against the applicant were unlawful constitutes full reparation for the damage suffered and that, accordingly, there is no need to award him damages.

66      In the light of the foregoing, it must be concluded that the condition relating to actual damage is not satisfied in the present case and that, in any event, the non-material damage suffered by the applicant is adequately compensated for by the finding that the restrictive measures taken against him were unlawful.

67      It is therefore necessary to dismiss the applicant’s claim for compensation and, accordingly, to dismiss the action in its entirety.

 Costs

68      Under Article 134(1) of the Rules of Procedure, the unsuccessful party is to be ordered to pay the costs if they have been applied for in the successful party’s pleadings. However, under Article 135(1) of those Rules, the Court may exceptionally decide, if equity so requires, that an unsuccessful party is to pay only a proportion of the costs of the other party in addition to bearing his own, or even that he is not to be ordered to pay any.

69      Under Article 137 of the Rules of Procedure, where a case does not proceed to judgment, the costs are to be in the discretion of the Court.

70      In the present case, it should be noted that it is the inclusion of the applicant’s name in the lists by the contested acts, followed by the cancellation of that inclusion, during the proceedings, by Decision 2015/1008 and Implementing Regulation 2015/1001, which have led the applicant to request a ruling that there is no need to adjudicate on his request for annulment of those acts (see paragraph 23 above). Furthermore, it is apparent from paragraphs 38 to 41 above that the initial decision to include the applicant’s name in the lists and the decisions to keep his name on those lists were unlawful, a fact which prompted him to bring the present action.

71      In those circumstances, the Court considers that it is equitable and justified for each party to bear its own costs.

On those grounds,

THE GENERAL COURT (Seventh Chamber)

hereby:

1.      Rules that there is no need to adjudicate on the action in so far as it seeks the annulment of Council Decision 2010/413/CFSP of 26 July 2010 concerning restrictive measures against Iran and repealing Common Position 2007/140/CFSP, Council Decision 2010/644/CFSP of 25 October 2010 amending Decision 2010/413, Council Regulation (EU) No 961/2010 of 25 October 2010 on restrictive measures against Iran and repealing Regulation (EC) No 423/2007, and Council Regulation (EU) No 267/2012 of 23 March 2012 concerning restrictive measures against Iran and repealing Regulation (EU) No 961/2010, as well as Council Implementing Regulations (EU) No 350/2012 of 23 April 2012, No 709/2012 of 2 August 2012, No 945/2012 of 15 October 2012, No 1264/2012 of 21 December 2012, No 522/2013 of 6 June 2013, No 1203/2013 of 26 November 2013, and No 397/2014 of 16 April 2014 implementing Regulation (EU) No 267/2012;

2.      Dismisses the action as to the remainder;

3.      Orders Mr Mahmoud Jannatian and the Council of the European Union to bear their own costs.

Van der Woude

Wiszniewska-Białecka

Ulloa Rubio

Delivered in open court in Luxembourg on 18 February 2016.

[Signatures]


* Language of the case: English.