Iran Ordered to Pay $879 Million over Khobar Towers Blast
A Washington, D.C. federal court has ordered Iran to pay $879 million in its decision after finding the Iranian defendants directed the 1996 terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia where US forces were housed.
Lead attorney Adora Sauer, of MM~LAW LLC, said, “Justice has not forgotten these brave US Air Force veterans and their families. It is an honor and privilege to fight for justice and compensation for these families. The passage of over two decades since the Khobar Towers attack has not thwarted our efforts. We will continue to seek to hold the Government of Iran accountable for this terrorist attack as long as is necessary.”
According to The Associated Press, the plaintiffs, which include 14 injured US Air Force members and 21 of their immediate family members, brought the lawsuit under the terrorism exception to the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The defendants are Iran, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
The court ruled that the Iranian government directed and provided material support to Hezbollah terrorists that detonated a 5,000-pound truck bomb at the Khobar Towers complex in Dhahran. The blast killed 19 US airmen and injured more than 400 others at the site charged with monitoring Iraqi compliance with United Nations security council resolutions.
US District Judge Beryl A. Howell found the defendants liable and awarded plaintiffs $132 million for pain and suffering as well as prejudgment interest for a total compensatory damage award of $747 million and $132 million for punitive damages.
The plaintiffs will be eligible for partial payments from the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, the concept and legislation of which was originated by MM~LAW, to compensate American victims of acts of international terrorism with funds obtained from fines and forfeitures levied against companies caught illegally laundering money for sanctioned countries and persons.
The attorneys also intend to pursue enforcement of the judgments through litigation intended to seize Iranian assets, AP said.