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Iran to challenge US suit to seize $1.7bn held by Deutsche Boerse unit

Suban Abdulla
·2-min read
The US has has been investigating whether Clearstream violated US money laundering and Iran sanction laws for years. Photo: Getty
The US has has been investigating whether Clearstream violated US money laundering and Iranian sanction laws for years. Photo: Getty

Iran has said that it will legally counter a lawsuit filed in the US by creditors who are seeking to seize $1.7bn (£1.3bn) of its assets held by the Deutsche Boerse’s (DB1.DE) Clearstream unit.

Earlier, the German stock operator said that creditors had filed the suit in New York in an effort to require Clearstream to hand offer the assets that reportedly belong to Iran’s central bank. Clearstream says the claims are groundless and that it will take steps to defeat them.

“After repeated legal defeats in Luxembourg, the US plaintiffs are seeking legal action in US courts against Clearstream. Serious legal action is also underway to counter these measures,” deputy governor of the Iranian central bank, Amir Hossein Tayyebi Fard, said in a statement.

There were no details given on which legal avenues Iran will take and when it will proceed to prevent the seizure of its “assets.”

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It’s not the first time that the US has targeted Luxembourg based Clearstream. In 2019 a Luxembourg judge ruled in favour of Clearstream, refusing to enforce a US ruling that would help victims of the September 11 attacks, claim Iranian assets held by Clearstream.

The US has also been investigating whether the clearing house violated US money laundering and Iranian sanction laws for years, with Deutsche Boerse denying the allegations.

A New York court also awarded plaintiff over $7bn in damages, after it found evidence that Iran provided “material support and resources to al Qaeda for acts of terrorism.”

The militant group took responsibility for carrying out the hijacked plane attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and on the Pentagon, in Washington. Iran has denied any involvement with the militant group and the September 11 attacks.