AP: The brother of an Iranian terrorism victim can collect $2.8 million from a California company that owes Iran for a canceled weapons shipment, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday. Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The brother of an Iranian terrorism victim can collect $2.8 million from a California company that owes Iran for a canceled weapons shipment, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
Dariush Elahi’s brother, Cyrus, was a leader in a France-based Iranian opposition movement and was assassinated in Paris in 1990. French authorities blamed the Iranian government for the killing.
In 2000, Dariush Elahi sued Iran in federal court in Washington. The Iranian government failed to respond to the lawsuit and, after a trial, a judge awarded Elahi $11.7 million in compensatory and $300 million in punitive damages.
When Dariush Elahi accepted $2.3 million from the U.S. government under a law that allows terrorism victims to collect damages from the U.S. Treasury, lawyers for the Bush administration and the Iranian government said he relinquished his claim to the rest of the original judgment.
But a divided three-judge panel 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that he is entitled to the $2.8 million that Cubic Defense Systems Inc. owes Iran after pulling out of a weapons contract immediately following the Shah of Iran’s fall in 1979.
“Obviously we are very pleased the court affirmed the validity of the lien,” said Jonathan Mook, an attorney for Dariush Elahi.
David Bederman, who represents Iran in the case, said Wednesday that he would ask a 15-judge panel of the appeals court to overturn the decision.