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Chairman Menendez Statement Regarding U.S. Appeals Court Ruling on $1.75 Billion Award for Victims in Iran Terror Cases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Appeals Court ruling that $1.75 billion in Iranian funds was awarded to the families of victims of terror attacks perpetrated by Iran.

The ruling clears the way for funds to be distributed to victims of Iran-sponsored terror attacks, including the 1983 bombing that killed 241 Marines in Beirut, Lebanon and the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

Senator Menendez authored a provision of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (ITRA) on this issue, which was signed into law in August 2012. The legislation included language stating that financial assets involved in this court proceeding shall “satisfy any judgment … of any compensatory damages awarded against Iran for damages for personal injury or death caused by an act of terrorism.”

“This ruling is the biggest penalty in history against Iran for its actions as a state sponsor of terrorism and for murdering innocent people,” Menendez said. “There is no amount of money, no financial rewards, and no court rulings that can ever comfort the victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, but the families are entitled to a degree of relief and comfort. I hope the knowledge that the guilty parties are being punished will serve as solace to the bereaved. The long arm of the law successfully reached the Central Bank of Iran which is wholly owned by the Iranian government, and justice was strongly delivered by this ruling.”

According to lawyers for the plaintiff, the ruling affects 1,300 individual cases.