Iran is refusing to pay more than $43 billion in court judgments issued to U.S. victims of the Islamic Republic’s terror operations, prompting two leading senators to back an effort that would prohibit the Obama administration from unfreezing more than $150 billion in Iranian assets until that country has settled its debts.
The $43 billion in damages to American terror victims were assessed as a result of some 50 U.S. court cases in recent years, according to official government estimates.
As the Obama administration prepares to release more than $150 billion in unfrozen cash assets to Iran, Congress is demanding that these terror victims finally be awarded their money.
Sens. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) and Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) on Tuesday unveiled a bill that would prevent the Obama administration from lifting economic sanctions on Tehran until these U.S. terrorist victims are paid for the crimes committed by Iranian-funded terrorist proxy groups, such as Hezbollah, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
“Iran-sponsored terrorists have killed more Americans than the Islamic State,” Kirk told the Free Beacon. “Families of Americans killed by Iranian-backed terrorism have used U.S. laws to take Iran to court and lawfully win approximately $43.5 billion in unsatisfied damages, so if the United States fails to ensure Iran fully pays these judgments before Iranian terror financiers get over $100 billion in sanctions relief, we risk emboldening Iran and other state sponsors of terror to continue targeting and killing more Americans.”
Iran has been held legally liable by U.S. courts for the murder of scores of Americans, according to official government estimates.
Iranian-backed terrorist groups, for example, have killed more than 700 Americans, including at least 290 in Lebanon over the past several decades. This accounts for the 241 U.S. service members murdered during the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, which Iran sponsored.
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