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NY financial regulator probes insurers over Iran links: WSJ

ZURICH (Reuters) - New York's financial regulator has asked insurers Lloyd's of London and reinsurer Swiss RE AG for details about dealings linked to Iran as part of a probe into 20 non-U.S. reinsurance firms, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Citing a copy of the letter, the newspaper said Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, had written to the reinsurers asking for details of whether they had conducted business with people or entities linked to Iran, after finding evidence that at least three firms insured shipments to Iran.

"We can confirm we have received a letter from the New York regulator requesting information regarding our international trade controls," said a Swiss Re spokesman. "They want to know what controls are in place to ensure compliance with U.S. sanctions on Iran."

He added that the company is aware of its legal obligations and has robust controls in place to ensure its compliance.

Lloyds of London said in an emailed statement: "Lloyd's will comply with any applicable sanctions, as it always has done."

The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Iran last year that include restrictions on insuring shipments.

The measures are aimed at making it hard for Iran to sell oil and limit funds for its nuclear program which some in the West believe is being used to develop weapons.

Iran says the program is purely for civilian purposes.

(Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto in Zurich and Chandni Doulatramani in Bangalore; Additional reporting by Chris Vellacott; Editing by Miral Fahmy and David Holmes)