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U.S. Court Clears Lawyers Seeking To Settle Major Iran Sanctions Case

Turkish singer Ebru Gundes with her husband, businessman Reza Zarrab (right), before his arrest

A New York judge has cleared former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and a former U.S. attorney general to work as attorneys for a Turkish-Iranian businessman seeking settlement of a U.S. Iran-sanctions case.

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said defendant Reza Zarrab understands the potential conflicts of interest that arise by being represented by Giuliani, who also represents Turkey, and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who also represents banks involved in the case, and was willing to hire the men despite those potential conflicts.

Zarrab, 33, a well-known personality in Turkey who is married to Turkish pop star Ebru Gundes, is charged with violating U.S. sanctions against Iran by processing hundreds of millions of dollars illegally for Iran's government and businesses. He has pleaded not guilty.

Zarrab's trial is scheduled to start in October, over two years after his arrest.

Giuliani and Mukasey are not representing Zarrab in court. Rather, they are trying to negotiate a political settlement of the case.

Giuliani and Mukasey have met with Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who would like to see the case settled. Giuiliani is also an adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters