Obama administration asked to weigh in on terror case at delicate time for US-Iran relations

Case involves compensation for victims of the 1983 Lebanon US Marine Corps barracks bombing.

By REUTERS
April 6, 2015 17:13
2 minute read.
Beirut

7 the bombed out building of the US embassy in Beirut, 1983 . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The US Supreme Court on Monday asked President Barack Obama's administration to weigh in on an appeal over whether Iran's central bank must pay $1.75 billion to relatives of American troops killed in the 1983 Marine Corps barracks bombing in Lebanon.

The court said it wants the US Justice Department's views on whether the nine justices should hear the appeal filed by Bank Markazi. If the justices ultimately decline to hear Bank Markazi's appeal, the money, currently held in a trust account, would have to be turned over to families of the victims.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


It would go toward paying off a $2.65 billion U.S. court judgment the families won against Iran in 2007. The families accused Iran of providing material support to Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Shi'ite militant group responsible for the October 1983 truck bomb attack at the Marine compound in Beirut that killed 241 US servicemen.

The high court's action comes at a delicate time for American-Iranian relations, with the United States and other world powers last week reaching a framework agreement intended to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.

The legal question is whether a 2012 law passed by the US Congress that specifically addressed the funds at issue in the dispute violates the US Constitution by dictating the outcome of a court case. The bank also says the appeals court ruling violates a 1955 US-Iran treaty.

The Supreme Court regularly asks the government for views on whether to hear cases when an issue directly affects US interests. Traditionally, the court gives considerable weight to what the government says, although it varies from case to case.

The court did not set a deadline for the administration to respond.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


The 2010 lawsuit was filed after the US Treasury Department uncovered the funds at Citibank, part of Citigroup Inc. The Iranian central bank is appealing a July 2014 ruling by the New York-based 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals that the money held by Citibank in New York should be handed over.

President Ronald Reagan dispatched US Marines in 1982 to Lebanon on a peacekeeping mission to try to stabilize the war-torn nation following an Israeli invasion. In the immediate aftermath of the attack and a near-simultaneous bombing that killed French paratroopers, Reagan vowed to keep the Marines in Lebanon but pulled them out just months later.

The case is Bank Markazi v. Peterson, US Supreme Court, No. 14-770.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

 From nuclear center, Netanyahu warns those threatening to destroy Israel (August 30, 2018).
September 20, 2018
Israel nuclear chief: We are upgrading defenses at Dimona reactor

By YVETTE J. DEANE