Friday, September 07, 2007

Iran fined $2.65 billion for terrorism


WASHINGTON - Iran must pay $2.65 billion to the families of the 241 U.S. service members killed in the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, a federal judge declared Friday in a ruling that left survivors and families shedding tears of joy.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth described his ruling as the largest-ever such judgment by an American court against another country. "These individuals, whose hearts and souls were forever broken, waited patiently for nearly a quarter century for justice to be done," he said.

Iran has been blamed for supporting the militant group Hezbollah, which carried out the suicide bombing in Beirut. It was the worst terrorist act against U.S. targets until the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Hundreds of people crowded into a federal courtroom to hear Friday's ruling. Parents have grown old since their children were killed. Siblings have grown into middle-age. Children have married and started families of their own.

Weeping spectators stood and erupted in applause and hugs as Lamberth left the bench.

The ruling allows nearly 1,000 family members and a handful of survivors to try to collect Iranian assets from various sources around the world. Finding and seizing that money will be difficult, however, and the families are backing a law in Congress that would make it easier for terrorism victims and their families to do so.


Sherry said...

This is a test to see if I can leave messages. Hopefully, this new service works.

This is a great story Serendip. Bet those mutants, I mean mullahs try to hide their money now in Russia or China.

RoxieAmerica said...

Hello sherry, you can indeed leave messages. You will enjoy serendip's postings.

A Jacksonian said...

A civil finding, and bit late to actually influence matters... the US fell down on doing things in 1979 and started paying the price by 1983. Freezing assets and curtailing trade and sanctions only go so far. A Nation not set up on a rational basis will not see these as problems but as 'vindication' for their cause. Such has been the case with the regime in Iran, and we still do not recognize at a governmental level that this is not a rational regime tied to normal affairs of Nation states.

Iran, by its sponsorship of Hezbollah with Syria, needs to be held accountable for all of the activities of it. Those activities have been outlaw to our conceptions of the nation state system, and our inability to recognize that and call it for what it is has harmed us as a Nation and intellectually. We remain blind to the larger threat beyond these instances, and still will not call it for what it is. If we cannot even understand what a predator is, not to speak of naming it, and recognize it for what it does, then we are not 'civilized'... the classification for that is 'prey'.