A group of American victims of Iranian terrorism holding more than a billion dollars in US court judgments against it filed a motion on Wednesday to enjoin the Obama administration from releasing an estimated $100 billion in frozen Iranian assets.
Coming at one of the highest stakes diplomacy time periods in recent memory, the motion injects itself into an already heated Congressional review of the Obama administration's historic agreement negotiated with Iran.
Among other things, the deal eventually requires lifting US and world economic sanctions and unfreezing the $100 billion of Iran’s assets in return for Tehran shutting down its nuclear weapons program.
The Shurat Hadin - Israel Law Center motion said that the US has pledged to unfreeze the funds belonging to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), which are primarily held in overseas bank accounts, under the deal.
A press release by the NGO stated that “the families claim that releasing the funds will preclude them from ever collecting on their judgments and deprive them of the only leverage they have to make Iran pay.”
Two dozen plaintiffs filed the motion day in a US federal court in New York, naming US State Department and Treasury Department as well as Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew as respondents.