A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that $1.75 billion for terrorism-related judgments against Iran can be given to victims of attacks, including a 1983 bombing that killed 241 Marines in Lebanon.
Washington lawyer Thomas Fortune Fay said the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruling affects 1,300 cases that were combined in New York.
A three-judge panel rejected arguments by attorneys for Bank Markazi, the central bank of Iran, which had argued that turning over the money would conflict with U.S. obligations in a 1955 treaty signed with Iran. The 2nd Circuit said turning over the assets was “entirely consistent” with the terms of the treaty.
Lawyers for the bank did not return a message for comment Wednesday.
Fay said the decision was welcomed by several hundred families affected by those killed or injured in the attack on the Marines barracks. He said each family was likely to receive about $5 million after attorney fees are subtracted once the appeals are completed. The money already is in the custody of a court-appointed trustee after President Barack Obama in 2012 ordered property and interests of Iran, including assets of Bank Markazi, be blocked.