The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a judgment allowing families of
victims of the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut and other terrorist
attacks to collect nearly $2 billion in frozen Iranian funds.
The court on Wednesday ruled 6-2 in favor of more than 1,300 relatives of the
241 U.S. service members who died in the Beirut bombing and victims of other
attacks that courts have linked to Iran.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the court rejecting efforts
by Iran's central bank to try to stave off court orders that would allow the
relatives to be paid for their losses. The money is sitting in a federal court trust
Iran's Bank Markazi complained that Congress was intruding into the business
of federal courts when it passed a 2012 law that specifically directs that the
banks' assets in the United States be turned over to the families. President
Barack Obama issued an executive order earlier in 2012 freezing the Iranian
central bank's assets in the United States.
|Families of U.S. Service Members Win $2 Billion Judgement Against Iran
The decision comes as controversy swirls over pending legislation in
Congress that would allow families of the Sept. 11 attacks to hold the
government of Saudi Arabia liable in U.S. court. The Obama administration
opposes the bill. President Barack Obama met with King Salman in Riyadh
Wednesday at the start of a brief trip to the country.
Congress has repeatedly changed the law in the past 20 years to make it
easier for victims to sue over state-sponsored terrorism; federal courts have
awarded the victims billions of dollars. But Iran has refused to comply with the
judgments, leading lawyers to hunt for Iranian assets in the United States.
The Supreme Court case involved $1.75 billion in bonds, plus accumulating
interest, owned by the Iranian bank and held by Citibank in New York.
Families of U.S. Service Members Win $2 Billion Judgement Against Iran
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