(JTA) — A San Diego federal court awarded $70 million in compensation from Iran to five U.S. citizens injured in a 1997 terror attack in Jerusalem.
Culminating a 10-year legal battle, Judge Barry Moskowitz ruled on Tuesday that Cubic Defense Systems transfer the money to the plaintiffs.
A U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., had awarded the plaintiffs $70 million in 2003, but Iran would not agree to pay, spurring the plaintiffs to place a lien on funds held by Cubic. Based on a U.S.-Iran treaty signed after Iran’s revolution in 1979, Iran claimed the money held by Cubic as its own; the company had done business with Iran before the revolution. To receive the compensation, the plaintiffs adopted Iran’s claim.
The victims were injured in a double suicide bombing in central Jerusalem carried out by the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. In 2001, the victims sued Iran in U.S. court, alleging that Iran provided material support for the bombing.
David Strachman and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the founder of Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, which aims to bankrupt terror organizations through legal means, represented the victims.
“We still remember the heinous murders carried out by the Iranian proxy, Hamas, in 1997,” 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.”