SAN DIEGO — A San Diego federal court on Tuesday ordered the Iranian Defense Ministry to pay $9 million in damages to victims of a 1997 double suicide bombing in Jerusalem by Iran-funded Hamas.
The plaintiffs, including five U.S. citizens injured in the Hamas attack and four family members of victims, were represented by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli law center.
“We still remember the heinous murders carried out by the Iranian proxy, Hamas, in 1997,” Shurat HaDin founder Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said in a statement. “We are still fighting every single day for a measure of justice and compensation from the outlaw regimes that supported the terror organizations.”
The same terror victims won a $70 million judgment from Iran in 2003, but they were never paid because Iran opted to freeze assets held by San Diego-based Cubic Defense Systems. Iran in 1977 had signed a $12 million contract to purchase equipment from Cubic, but the equipment was never delivered because U.S.-Iran ties were cut off after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran had already won a judgment for $2.8 million of the funds from Cubic, and placed a lien on the remainder of the $12 million on the grounds of the 1981 Algiers Accords, which resolved the Iran hostage crisis by requiring the U.S. to “restore the financial position of Iran, in so far as possible, to that which existed prior to November 14, 1979.” On Tuesday, however, Judge Barry Moskowitz of the San Diego court ruled that the frozen funds should be transferred to the Jerusalem terror victims.