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Iran Says $70 Million Check Was For Housing Project

Iran's ambassador to Venezuela says a check worth about $70 million, seized by German authorities from the luggage of Iran's former central bank chief, was to be given to an Iranian company for its expenses while building housing in Venezuela.

Ambassador Hojattolah Soltani spoke in an interview with Venezuela's Globovision television.

He said the check for 300 million Venezuelan bolivars was to be used for the expenses of the Kayson Company, which is building thousands of homes in Venezuela for Venezuela's government.

He said the check was not declared to German authorities because German banks were not involved.

The ambassador said the former Iranian bank chief, Tahmasb Mazaheri, was bringing the check to Venezuela to be cashed there after it was signed in Iran.

Earlier reports said German authorities were investigating possible money laundering when the check was discovered after Mazaheri arrived January 21 at the Duesseldorf airport on a flight from Turkey.

Based on reporting by AP and "El Nacional"