Iran Gets Money that Should Be Used to Pay Its Terror Victims

(Wall Street Journal) Editorial - Over two decades U.S. federal courts have found the Iranian government liable for orchestrating or supporting the 1983 bombings of the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut, the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers U.S. Air Force facility in Saudi Arabia, and multiple shootings and suicide bombings in Israel, among other attacks. Judges have awarded some $45 billion in damages to hundreds of plaintiffs such as Embassy bombing survivor Anne Dammarell and the widow and orphaned children of Hamas bombing victim Ira Weinstein. Iran has refused to pay a cent. Yet U.S. law provides for the victims to be able to get compensation under the 2002 Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. In negotiating Libya's nuclear disarmament a decade ago, the U.S. secured an agreement for the Gadhafi regime to compensate victims of attacks such as the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The 1981 Algiers Accord resolving the Iranian hostage crisis included a claims tribunal that ordered $2.5 billion in payments from Tehran. In federal court in New York City last week, two dozen victims of Iranian terror sued to block the Iran deal for disregarding U.S. laws meant to enforce just compensation. "It would be outrageous to release the $100 billion in frozen Iranian funds when these American families have unpaid court judgments against the terror-sponsoring regime in Tehran," said lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. By ignoring the $45 billion owed to Iran's terror victims, the U.S. erodes a deterrent to foreign state sponsorship of terrorism.

2015-08-14 00:00:00

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