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Luxembourg judge says can't rule yet on $1.6 billion claim against Iran

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - A Luxembourg judge denied on Wednesday a request from Iran to annul claims by families of victims of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on $1.6 billion of Iranian assets in Luxembourg, saying a court had to rule on the fundamentals of the case first.

The assets Iran held with Luxembourg-based clearing house Clearstream were frozen as part of international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme and had in theory become available to Iran when those sanctions were lifted after a deal in 2015.

Iran had sought an injunction to annul the seizure of the assets by the families of 9/11 victims who had won court cases against Iran in the United States.

The Luxembourg judge said that, to decide whether to free up the funds or not, a detailed analysis of the Clearstream system was needed, which was beyond his powers.

Two procedures over whether the U.S. judgments were enforceable in Luxembourg are ongoing and it was not clear when a judgment could be expected.

($1 = 0.9247 euros)

Reporting by Michele Sinner, Writing by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Dominic Evans