US appeals court reverses forfeiture order of Iran assets

A US federal court order benefiting the families of some victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack and others has been reversed on appeal.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City rejected a judge’s rational on Wednesday in ordering the sale of an office building in Manhattan worth about $1 billion as well as other properties.

In 2013, the judge said revenue from the skyscraper passed through Bank Melli, a state-owned Iranian bank, violating American sanctions. The federal appeals court disagreed that the properties were owned by the Iranian government.

In November 2009, federal prosecutors in the US seized the assets of the Alavi Foundation due to alleged links to the Iranian government, citing violation of a US-trade embargo against Iran.

The assets of the Alavi Foundation included the 650 Fifth Avenue building in Manhattan, as well as Islamic centers consisting of schools and mosques in New York City, Maryland, California, Texas…

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