US can’t seize Manhattan Tower “owned by Iran”

A US court has said that the government cannot seize a 36-story Manhattan office tower originally built by the Shah of Iran, whose owners it claimed were fronts for the Iranian government.

According to Reuters, the court also found that hundreds of victims of alleged “terrorist acts” linked to Iran could not force the owners of 650 Fifth Avenue to turn over the building or pay unsatisfied money judgments they had won against the country, finding no proof that the owners and Iran were legally one and the same.

In 2009, federal authorities seized 650 Fifth Ave. and other properties allegedly tied to the Iranian government.

Nonprofit Alavi Foundation owns 60 percent of the tower, and it has been argued that it is a front for Tehran. The US could still seize a 40 percent stake in the tower owned by Iranian-controlled Assa Corporation, the New York Post reports.

(Sources: Courthouse News, Reuters, Real Deal)

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