Iran asks that account in arms scheme be frozen

Iran has asked a French court to freeze a bank account after an alleged armes swindle in which it says it lost $56 million, justice sources said. The account is in the name of a Lebanese citizen in the Banque de la Mediterranee-France, sources said, and a hearing has been set for Monday.

The chief government spokesman in Tehran said that Iran had lost the money in a swindle while trying to buy arms for its war against Iraq. Iran's Bank Melli in Paris had paid the sum against shipping documents which turned out to be incomplete, he said, adding: "The government has frozen the money and a court is investigating the matter."

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