Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Thursday, 23 March 2017
A Luxembourg court has rejected Tehran's demand to return $1.6 billion of Iranian assets claimed by the United States as compensation for the victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
The judge ruled that the assets could remain frozen in Luxembourg for now, awaiting a separate judgment on the merits of the case.
In 2012, a New York judge ordered Iran to pay $7 billion in damages to the families and estates of victims from the 2001 attacks, arguing that the country had aided Al-Qaeda by allowing the group's members to travel through its territory.
Iran rejects the accusation and refuses to pay the money. Its lawyers had tried to access $1.6 billion of Iranian money frozen in the Clearstream clearing house, a financial company based in Luxembourg.
Iranian assets also remain frozen in connection with a court case over the bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 that killed 241 Americans.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that $2.1 billion frozen in a Citibank account in New York should be given to the U.S. victims of the Lebanon bombing -- a verdict that Iran is contesting at the International Court of Justice.