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U.S. to seize NY building ‘owned by Iran’

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The United States is set seize control of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper prosecutors claim is secretly owned by Iran, the Justice Department said on Tuesday, though the ruling is to be appealed. The seizure and sale of the 36-storey 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 favour 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 upheld 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.” — AFP


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