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U.S. Prosecutors Crack Down on Iran

Samara Greenberg

Yesterday, federal prosecutors filed a complaint seeking the seizure of four U.S. mosques and a New York City skyscraper owned by the Alavi Foundation, an alleged front company for the Iranian government. Prosecutors seek a forfeiture of over $500 million.

According to the complaint, the Alavi Foundation is illegally funneling money to the Iranian government through Iran’s state-owned Bank Melli.

In 2007, the U.S. Treasury designated Bank Melli as a weapons proliferator and terrorism supporter. According to the Treasury, the bank is used to facilitate “purchases of sensitive materials” for Iran’s nuclear program, and for sending millions of dollars to Iran’s Qods Force, which funds terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and the Taliban.