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Iran: U.S. freezing CBI's assets in Luxembourg breaches intl law

Staff Writer |
Minister of Economy and Finance Ali Tayebnia said that the U.S. blockade of the Central Bank of Iran’s (CBI) $1.6 billion assets in Luxembourg is against international law.

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Speaking after the weekly cabinet session, Tayebnia hoped that Luxembourg court will issue verdict in Iran’s favor.

"The U.S.move in blocking the assets, which do not fall within its jurisdiction, is contrary to the international laws; we expect Luxemburg court to vote in Iran’s favor," said Tayebnia.

He said it was customary since the past years for the CBI to keep parts of its assets as foreign asset as foreign exchange or notary bond.

"Within 2002 to 2007, the CBI purchased notary bonds in dollars issued in Europe. That time there was no special problem.

"The CBI used to buy the bonds and sell them and receive the profit thus gained at due date. Since 2006 a series of problems emerged and laws, including U-turn ban was approved in the US against Iran, putting the cash in dollar we had overseas at risk.

"To the end of fall season in 2016 Luxembourg Clear Stream company, which kept Iranian notary bonds in dollar, warned and announced Iran that it can not secure interest for its assets and it was wise for it to transfer the assets.

"That time, they sold something about $220 million out of the bonds and transfer the resources and saved it from risk."

He said up until 16 June 2008, there was a chance of about six months to transfer the bonds but unfortunately only $220 million was transferred and what is now available as proof and evidence shows that since market conditions were not so ripe there was no attempt to sell the remaining portion.

"What has apparently said to me, there was the inference that since the sources belong to the CBI and not government and it was not possible to confiscate them, no such a thing was done."

"Within the six month period (December 2008 to June 2008) there was the chance for sale and transfer of the sum but nothing was done unfortunately.

"Subsequently, certain Americans lodged complaints against us in various American and non-American courts, intending to withdraw the sources.

"Iran attended many courts and filed complaint at the International Court of Justice in connection with former $1.8 billion and the recent case is under investigation."

"You should take that time as the start point for the case. Let’s say the interval between 2007 and 2008 when the chance was available to transfer our sources but we did not.

"It’s a surprising and strange move that an American citizen refers to a European court and complaints against the assets not falling within the field of the U.S. jurisdiction.

"We hope and expect the Luxemburg court to vote in Iran’s favor and nothing else can be expected in that connection.

"It’s surprising that the U.S. has violated all the international law, trying to withdraw the CBI assets and properties, subject to immunity in whole the world, just for the sake of a vain claim."


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