U.S. court orders Iran to pay billions over 9/11atacks

Arturo Kim
May 3, 2018

Tehran has been ordered by a U.S. court to pay more than $6 billion to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, despite the fact that most of the plane hijackers were Saudi nationals, and no direct link was ever found to Iran.

"Judge George Daniels ordered Iran to pay "$12,500,000 per spouse, $8,500,000 per parent, $8,500,000 per child, and $4,250,000 per sibling" to the families and estates of 9/11 victims, according to court filings. In 2011 and 2016, the NY judge ordered Iran to pay billions of dollars to insurance companies and victims of the 9/11 attacks.

ABC News said that the ruling was symbolic as Iran is unlikely to admit guilt or discuss compensation.

On top of that, a 4.96 percent annual interest rate will also be added to the amount, starting from the day of the terror attack.

The lawsuit was first filed in 2004 and was given a green signal in 2016 after Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act waved through Congress to open sovereign states accused of terrorism to liability.

The ruling is part of the larger case against Saudi Arabia, a conference for which will be held later this month.

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The 9/11 Commission, which was tasked with preparing a "full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding" the attacks, found no evidence of direct Iranian support, other than certain 9/11 hijackers travelled through Iran on their way to Afghanistan, without having their passports stamped.

He said: 'The evidence presented established that Iran's provision of material support to al-Qaeda was a cause of the 9/11 attacks and the resulting damage, injuries, and deaths. Fifteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has been the primary target of lawsuits related to the 9/11 attacks, but it has engaged in lobbying to prevent any lawsuits.

Iran's involvement in the attacks has been a source of contention.

Iran has not commented on the cases.

Unfortunately, it is nearly certainly a mostly symbolic victory, as there is no way to force Iran to pay; Tehran didn't even bother showing up to court, leaving the judgement uncontested.

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