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Iran: Unfair for US to Seize Our Money to Pay for 9/11 Lawsuit
Iranian Foreign Ministry officials issued a statement today criticizing the attempt by US lawyers to seize Iranian money held abroad to pay for a US-based lawsuit in which a New York judge ordered Iran to pay $7 billion in damages for 9/11.
That Iran didn’t do 9/11 was a key part of Iran’s unsuccessful defense in the lawsuit, which seemed very much beside the point in the case, and the Obama Administration and Congress authorized seizing Iranian funds irrespective of long-standing sovereign immunity prohibitions against such lawsuits.
Now, Iranian officials say the US is trying to take its rare domestic exemption to sovereign immunity global, pressuring a Luxembourg bank to hand over $1.6 billion in Iranian funds to pay for part of the lawsuit. The US also attempted to seize a building in New York that was at one point owned by Iran, though the fact Iran didn’t own it anymore ultimately overturned that order.
This has left the US with a legal ruling that Iran owes money for 9/11, despite not being behind 9/11, and no Iranian money to take. While the US has a lot of international influence, it remains to be seen if other countries will knuckle under in this case, since Iran obviously wasn’t behind 9/11 in the first place.