LONDON May 9 The UK government has filed a
defence against a $4 billion lawsuit brought by an Iranian bank
against which it wrongfully imposed sanctions, denying that the
bank suffered any losses or reputational damage due to the
Bank Mellat, Iran's largest private bank, filed a damages
claim in London's High Court in February, after the Supreme
Court quashed UK sanctions imposed against it over alleged links
to Tehran's nuclear programme.
The lender said the bank suffered "significant pecuniary
loss" and substantial reputational damage as a result of the
measures that were taken against it in 2009.
In a defence filed in court on Friday and obtained by
Reuters, the UK Treasury rejected those allegations.
"It is denied that the 2009 order substantially damaged Bank
Mellat's reputation and goodwill in both the UK and
internationally and caused significant pecuniary loss."
Any such losses would have been suffered anyway, because at
the time there was a general reluctance to conduct business with
Iranian banks in light of earlier imposed U.S. financial
sanctions, the defence document stated.
(Reporting by Clare Hutchison; editing by Jason Neely)