Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iran Pays the Price of Terror: $2 Billion in Compensation for Victims of Beirut, Khobar and Jerusalem Attacks | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S. soldiers looking for victims in the wrekage of the marines center in Beirut, after the October 1983 attacks, Getty

Washington- The US state supreme court, yesterday, pushed forth with the verdict penalizing Iran with a 2.65 billion dollars fine, which will be cut from Iranian frozen assets in U.S. banks. The money is expected to go to victims of terrorist activities and attacks proven sponsored and funded by Tehran.

The verdict was issued for the victims of three attacks, the bombing of a U.S. naval institution in Beirut in 1983, Khobar Towers bombing in 1996 and a suicide attack which targeted a restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001. The attack on the naval institution established the foundation for the verdict, allowing the relatives of 241 victims to receive compensation.

The State Supreme Court addressed the lawsuit raised against the U.S. congress by the Iranian central bank for freezing its assets in 2012. Congress has passed the finding so that all Iranian liabilities are frozen in order to deliver families of the victims their compensations.

The State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the congressional decision, given that it didn’t violate the separation laws of U.S. constitutional authorities.

Victims are expected to receive reimbursements from Iranian frozen accounts, only after a few procedural steps are taken. Theodor Oslon, legal representative of the families of victims, expressed overwhelming joy after the court ruling in

favor of over a thousand people who had suffered the consequences of Iranian terrorism and had been waiting years for justice.

“We are extremely pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision, which will bring long-overdue relief to more than 1000 victims of Iranian terrorism and their families, many of whom have waited decades for redress,” said Olson.

The plaintiffs accused Iran of providing material support to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed and Lebanon- based political and military group responsible for the 1983 truck bomb attack at the Marine compound in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. service members.

The plaintiffs filed also sought compensation related to other attacks including the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 U.S. service members.

The verdict came during a delicate period of U.S.-Iranian relations, following January’s implementation of the nuclear deal reached last year by the United States and five other world powers to lift economic sanctions in exchange for Iran accepting restrictions imposed on its nuclear program.

Asharq Al-Awat newspaper had already exposed all documents and pieces of evidence used at the New York federal court, which proved Iran’s knee-deep involvement for backing the September 11, 2001 attacks. The evidence was enough for New York Judge George Daniels to pass a verdict last March fining Tehran 10.7 billion dollars-in addition to the interest prior to the finding which is estimated to be at an annual rate of 9 percent reaching a total fine of 21 billion dollars in compensation for families of victims.