Iran General NewsUS to seize New York skyscraper secretly owned by...

US to seize New York skyscraper secretly owned by Iran

-

AFP: The United States is set seize control of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper prosecutors claim is secretly owned by Iran, the justice department said, though the ruling is to be appealed.

NEW YORK CITY (AFP) — The United States is set seize control of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper prosecutors claim is secretly owned by Iran, the justice department said, though the ruling is to be appealed.

The seizure and sale of the 36-story building, in the heart of New York City on Fifth Avenue, would be “the largest-ever terrorism-related forfeiture,” the statement added.

A federal judge ruled in favor of the government’s suit this week, saying the building’s owners had violated Iran sanctions and money laundering laws.

Manhattan Federal Prosecutor Preet Bharara said the decision upholds the justice department claims the owner of the building “was (and is) a front for Bank Melli, and thus a front for the Government of Iran.”

Bharara said the funds from selling the building would provide “a means of compensating victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism.”

Prosecutors allege the building’s owners, the Alavi Foundation and Assa Corporation, transferred rental income and other funds to Iran’s state-owned Bank Melli.

Alavi also ran a charitable organization for Iran and managed the building for the Iranian government, the statement said.

Built in the 1970s by a non-profit operated by the Shah of Iran — and financed with a Bank Melli loan — the building was expropriated by the new Iranian government after the 1979 revolution, prosecutors allege.

They said the Shah’s non-profit, the Pahlavi Foundation, was renamed the Mostazafan Foundation of New York and then the Alavi Foundation.

A former president of the Alavi foundation pleaded guilty in 2009 to obstructing justice in destroying evidence related to the case, which was first filed in 2008.

The Alavi foundation plans to appeal, saying on its website it was “disappointed” with the ruling and that “it did not have the opportunity to rebut the Government evidence before a jury.”

The US Treasury Department has instituted tight sanctions against Iran, blacklisting a number of Iranian companies and organizations and putting controls on the ability of any group or business to transfer funds into Iran.

The restrictions seek to pressure Tehran into giving up what the West says is a program to develop nuclear weapons.

 

Latest news

Snapback Sanctions, a Must Response to Iran’s Human Rights Abuse and JCPOA Violations

The protests in Iran have been going on for more than two months, even though the regime is cracking...

Growing Disintegration Among Iran Regime’s Forces

Iran has been shaken by a wave of nationwide protests since mid-September. The trigger was the death of the...

Grim Tidings for Iran’s Regime After Approval of UN Fact-Finding Mission

After many discussions and debates, the United Nations Human Rights Council has approved a fact-finding mission to investigate the...

Iranian People’s Resistance Changed the Appeasement Policy

Soon after the new US government started its obligations in January 2021, hand in hand with the European governments...

Khamenei’s Disgraceful Campaign Against Piranshahr and Javanrud, Who Will Be the Loser?

On the 67th day of Iran’s revolution, the Iranian regime attempted to put a halt to the protests in...

Iran: Expensive Medicine, Cheap Human Life

A look at the equipment and weapons that the Iranian regime has been using against its people to suppress...

Must read

Blind man hanged in public in Iran

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jan. 07 – A partially...

Rice to hammer out Iran strategy with European powers

Reuters: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will hammer...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you