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Luxembourg court rejects US bid to freeze Iran assets, Washington appeals: CBI chief

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows a view of the Central Bank of Iran in northern Tehran.

The governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) says a Luxembourg court has rejected the US efforts to freeze $1.6 billion of Iranian assets in the European country, adding that Washington has appealed the ruling.

“A Luxembourg court dismissed the US request for the freeze of $1.6 billion of Iranian assets in its first verdict, and the decision has been appealed and will be considered soon,” Valiollah Seif told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet session on Wednesday.

Seif said that the office of Iran’s legal services and CBI lawyers are following up on the case until the final verdict is issued.

He added that the request to seize Iran’s dollar bonds in Luxembourg was made by the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.

Seif’s remarks came in reaction to a report by The New York Times that, citing people familiar with the case, said a judge in Luxembourg had quietly put a freeze on $1.6 billion in assets belonging to the CBI.

The report said that the freeze on the Iranian assets in Luxembourg was as compensation for the victims of the September 11 attacks.

On Tuesday, CBI Legal Chief Executive Ardeshir Fereydouni said that the US move to seize Iranian oversees assets ran counter to international law.

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Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi has also rejected the US bid as “completely unlawful and baseless.”

The US claims that Iran helped the al-Qaeda terrorist group in conducting the September 11, 2001 attacks. Iran has repeatedly rejected the allegation.

The September 11, 2001 attacks were a series of hijacked-plane strikes in New York, the Washington D.C. area and Pennsylvania, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

None of the 19 hijackers that carried out the attacks were Iranian citizens. Fifteen were from Saudi Arabia while the others were from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon.

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