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CBI Foils US Attempts to Seize Iran’s Assets in Italy

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced in a statement that it has succeeded to thwart attempts by Washington to confiscate the country's properties in Italy.

An Italian appeal court dismissed renewed claims brought by American plaintiffs to seize CBI assets in Italy to pay for damages suffered over September 11, 2001 attacks, a charge that Iran roundly rejects as politically motivated, the statement said.

It added that claimants had submitted several complaints to the Italian courts beginning in June 2018 to have nearly $6 billion worth of CBI assets confiscated.

It said a ruling by a lower Italian court on April 17, 2019 had dismissed a second claim launched by the plaintiffs, known as Havlish et al., in the Italian judiciary system over the case.

“That verdict was contested by the claimants in the Havlish case and in the appeal phase the court did not accept the request of the claimants on Friday January 10, 2020,” it said, adding that the ruling was “another victory” in the case for the CBI.

The bank did not elaborate on litigation costs but said it had benefited from the services of skilled Italian barristers.

The ruling came less than a year after a Luxembourg court refused to enforce an initial US ruling to allow families of 9/11 victims to claim Iranian assets in the small European country.

That comes as the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled in August last year that judges had committed several errors during a trial in June 2017 that authorized the confiscation of a major Iran-owned office tower in the city to pay for claims raised by victims of terror attacks. The court decided to throw away the case.

Iran has consistently dismissed allegations of links to 9/11 attacks or other terrorist incidents related to the US, saying they are totally fabricated.

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