Report: US to Seize Iran-Owned New York Skyscraper

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The United States is set seize control of a midtown Manhattan skyscraper prosecutors claim is secretly owned by Iran, the US justice department said, though the ruling is to be appealed.

Report: US to Seize Iran-Owned New York Skyscraper

The US justice department claimed that the seizure and sale of the 36-storey building, in the heart of New York City on Fifth Avenue, would be the largest-ever (so called) "terrorism-related forfeiture."

A federal judge ruled in favour of the government's suit this week, saying The Piaget Building's owners had violated Iran sanctions and money laundering laws,  a report by AFP said.

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", the report said.

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 organisation for Iran and managed the building for the Iranian government, the statement said.



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