BofA & Wells Fargo Must Turn Over Iranian Funds

(CN) – Two U.S. banks must turn over $364,500 to benefit terrorist victims trying to collect on a $591 million judgment against Iran, a federal judge ruled.
Before the judgment holders can collect, however, the court in Washington said it will first consider third-party interpleader claims so that the banks can protect themselves from multiple claims on the same funds.
“This court is under no illusions that the path ahead will be much easier for victims than it has been in the past,” Chief U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth wrote.
He noted that the relatively small assets at stake represent less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the funds to which the plaintiffs are entitled under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).
“This tiny sum is dwarfed by even greater magnitudes when compared to the endless suffering of these victims,” Lamberth wrote.
Iran owes this group more than half a billion dollars for the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers, a U.S. Air Force housing complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Hundreds died in the Hezbollah attack, which Iran had sponsored, and 19 military personnel were killed.
The current case against Bank of America and Wells Fargo represents the plaintiffs’ second phase of “the often-frustrating and always-arduous path shared by countless victims of state-sponsored terrorism attempting to enforce FSIA judgments,” Lamberth wrote.

Read more from Courthouse News.

Here is the court document.

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