Iran's central bank claims billions from German stock exchange

Iran is looking for billions from the German stock market operator

German stock market operator Deutsche Boerse said Thursday that Iran's central bank had levelled claims for billions of dollars against its Luxembourg subsidiary Clearstream, which blocked the funds after the US accused Tehran of funding terrorism.

The central bank (Bank Markazi) demands some $4.9 billion (4.0 billion euros) of assets it says are held in Clearstream accounts belonging to it and to Italian bank UBAE, plus interest, Deutsche Boerse said in a statement.

If the assets themselves cannot be recovered, the Iranian institution wants damages in the same amount.

The long-running, complex case involves some $2.0 billion frozen in Clearstream accounts while court cases against Iran are heard in the US and Luxembourg, as well as some $1.9 billion Clearstream has already transferred to the US based on a 2013 court ruling.

That judgement saw Iran ordered to compensate around 1,000 American plaintiffs, including families of some 214 soldiers killed in a double suicide bombing in Lebanese capital Beirut in 1983 that claimed 299 lives.

Victims of a 1996 attack in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 Americans were also compensated.

"Clearstream believes that the claims against it are unfounded," Deutsche Boerse said in its statement.

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