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Iran court orders US to pay $4.3bn in fines over murder of nuclear scientists

People react at the site of the assassination of Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran, Iran, on May 22, 2022. (Photo by IRNA)

An Iranian court has found the US administration and dozens of American institutions and officials guilty of supporting the Israeli regime’s targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, ordering Washington to pay $4.3 billion in compensation.

Families of three martyred nuclear scientists, along with a wounded nuclear scientist and wives of three nuclear scientists who sustained injuries themselves in terror attacks on their husbands had filed a lawsuit with a Tehran court against the US government, institutions and authorities that were in office at the time of Israeli terror acts.

The crimes in question inflicted physical, psychological and financial damages on the families of the victims.

The US was ordered by the court to pay $4.3 billion in total compensation, including fines.

The lawsuit, the court said, was aimed at countering violations of international obligations and instances of hostile behavior on the international stage through supporting Israel’s acts of terrorism.

Those convicted are 37 American natural and legal persons, including former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Iran envoy Brian Hook and former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

The verdict cited evidence of Israeli involvement in the assassinations and the US financial and military support for the regime, saying Washington have had an “effective” role in establishing and supporting Israel as a terrorist regime.

The US Congress has also passed several laws in support of Israel, it added.

Several US courts have in the past fined the Iranian government under various pretexts, authorizing the government to pay damages to American plaintiffs from Iran's seized assets.

Over the past years, Iranian nuclear scientists have been the target of the Western and Israeli spy agencies’ assassination attempts.

Between 2010 and 2012, four Iranian nuclear scientists — namely Masoud Alimohammadi, Majid Shahriari, Darioush Rezaeinejad and Ahmadi Roshan — were assassinated, while another, Fereydoon Abbasi, was wounded in an attempted murder.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who headed the Iranian Defense Ministry’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, was assassinated on November 27, 2020.

Following the assassination, Iranian officials said that Israel had acted with US intelligence and carried out the targeted killing of the prominent nuclear scientist.

In the latest terrorist attack in Tehran on May 22, Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei was assassinated by two motorcyclists who shot him five times before fleeing the scene.

The New York Times on May 25 cited an intelligence official as saying that Israel had informed American officials that it was behind the assassination.

It also cited Israeli officials who claimed that Khodaei was allegedly involved in planning cross-border plots against Israelis.

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