Families of 9/11 victims look to grab Iran property in Britain

LONDON/ANKARA(Reuters) – An English court docket has cleared the best way to think about whether or not it is going to enable the households of a few of these killed within the Sept. 11, 2001 assaults on the United States to make a declare on Iranian property in Britain.

The family members need the English High Court to implement a 2012 resolution by a U.S. court docket which found there was proof to point out that Iran offered “material support and resources to al Qaeda for acts of terrorism”. The militant group carried out the assaults.

The New York court docket awarded the plaintiffs damages of over $7 billion (5.three billion kilos). Iran denies any hyperlinks to Al Qaeda or any involvement within the 9/11 assaults.

If the English court docket agrees to implement the ruling, it may clear the best way for property in England and Wales to be frozen or seized. Iranian property in England embrace a central London constructing and funds held by two subsidiaries of state-owned banks. This may add to Tehran’s troubles because it tries to stave off a monetary disaster.

The June eight ruling by a choose after a listening to within the English High Court eliminated an impediment that was holding up the method.

The regulation requires the UK’s Foreign Office (FCO) to formally serve the authorized papers to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) earlier than the enforcement proceedings can start. A British official stated it was routinely tough to ship papers to the MFA, in line with FCO correspondence seen by Reuters. An FCO official declined to remark.

The choose dominated it was enough to attempt to notify them by means of different communication reminiscent of electronic mail or publish.

That resolution has unblocked the method. The plaintiffs will now ask a choose on the High Court within the subsequent few months to think about whether or not the New York ruling could be entered as a judgement in English regulation, stated their lawyer Natasha Harrison, a companion on the London workplace of Boies Schiller Flexner. The judgement may then be enforced, she stated. This would imply property could possibly be frozen or seized.

An Iranian official stated: “Iran will take all the necessary measures to stop it.”

An Iranian overseas ministry official stated the June ruling was “fabricated” and “politically motivated”.

“Such allegations against Iran are aimed at diverting attentions from regional countries that were involved in the 9/11 attacks,” that official stated. “We are a victim of terrorism and have always fought against terrorism.”

The plaintiffs started attempting to implement the New York judgement in England in 2015. They have already received court docket help in Luxembourg the place $1.6 billion of Iranian property are frozen. Iran has additionally contested these claims.

Lee Wolosky, one other companion with regulation agency Boies Schiller Flexner , stated that the plaintiffs intend to pursue Iranian property “wherever in the world they may be found in order to enforce these judgements”.

“And we expect foreign courts to permit enforcement of valid, final U.S. judgements if they wish reciprocal treatment in U.S. courts,” he stated.

The plaintiffs’ authorized workforce declined to touch upon what Iranian property in Britain they’d goal.

Additional reporting by William James in London and Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels; Editing by Anna Willard

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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