Clearstream dragged back into court battle over Iran assets

Iran's central bank has filed suit to claim $4.9 billion of frozen assets currently held by Clearstream.
By Joe Parsons

Clearstream has once again become embroiled in a court battle over its dealings with Iran’s central bank.

The lawsuit, this time being filed by Bank Markazi in Luxembourg’s courts, is seeking the restitution of frozen assets belonging to the central bank and held by Clearstream and Banka UBAE, totaling around $4.9 billion, plus interest. The assets have been frozen since 2012 as part of European sanctions.

Bank Markazi also seeks damages in the same amount.

The assets sought by the Luxembourg court include the $1.9 billion of assets that were turned over to US courts pursuant to a 2013 court order.

The claim also addresses customer assets of approximately $2 billion, which include assets that are held by Clearstream in the US and in Luxembourg, as well as assets transferred out of Clearstream to Banka UBAE.

German exchange group Deutsche Boerse, which owns Clearstream, stated it “believes the complaint against it to be without merit,” and that Clearstream will take “all necessary and appropriate measures to vigorously contest the claims.”