Families of Beirut Bomb Victims Get $657 Million

     (CN) – Iran owes $657 million to more victims of the 1983 bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, a federal judge ruled.
     The judgment is part of a recent string of verdicts against Iran since Congress added a state-sponsored terrorist exemption to the Federal Sovereign Immunities Act in 2008.
     Hezbollah carried out the 1983 suicide bombing, which killed 241 U.S. soldiers and injured many more.
     Chief U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in Washington held Iran and its Ministry of Intelligence and Security liable for sponsoring the attacks in 2007, and has doled out several multimillion awards to victims and their families in the years since.
     On Thursday, he awarded $148 million in compensatory damages and more than $509 million in punitive damages to the families of eight Marines killed in the bombing.
     “Sponsoring terrorism has become an expensive activity for Iran and its associates,” Lamberth wrote. “After today, this court will have issued over $9.5 billion in judgments against Iran from the 1983 Beirut bombing. One other Beirut bombing case, containing 36 plaintiffs, remains pending before this court; its completion will surely add to Iran’s tab.
     “Regardless, no award – however many billions it contained – could accurately reflect the countless lives that have been changed by Iran’s shameful acts,” the opinion concludes.
     Lamberth also applauded the families’ “persistent efforts to hold Iran accountable for its cowardly support of terrorism.”
     He added that he “hopes that the victims’ families may find some measure of solace from this court’s final judgment.”
     The damages assigned to each individual on Thursday are laid out in a separate order.

%d bloggers like this: