The European Union is set to put 40 shipping firms controlled or otherwise linked to the Iranian regime Shipping Lines (IRISL) back on a list of sanctioned groups, Reuters reports.

The 40 companies includes Hamburg-based Ocean Capital Administration GmbH, that were previously placed on the EU's sanctions list.EU says these companies were controlled or otherwise linked to top national carrier the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), which had previously been blacklisted.

In January, the bloc's second highest court annulled EU sanctions on the 40 shipping companies and an Iranian bank.

In letters dated March 12 and seen by Reuters that were sent by the European Council to the shipping firms' lawyer, the Council said the reasons for the intended re-listings included the companies being owned or controlled by IRISL or for providing training, spare parts and services to IRISL or IRISL employees.

"Consequently, the Council intends to designate your clients again," the letters said.

An EU diplomat told Reuters on Tuesday: "The (EU) Council looks at every judgment carefully and explores all choices available. A discussion on the cases you mention ... will be held in the working party this week."

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