Then-US President Barack Obama, right, and his Vice President Joe Biden in 2009 [File: Jason Reed/Reuters]
Then-US President Barack Obama, right, and his Vice President Joe Biden in 2009 [File: Jason Reed/Reuters]

Iran court orders US, Obama to pay $313m for ‘terrorist’ attacks

An Iranian court has ruled the United States government and a number of individuals and entities, including former President Barack Obama, must pay compensation for 2017 attacks carried out by the armed group ISIL (ISIS).


The court in the capital issued the verdict on Wednesday based on complaints by families of three people killed and six wounded during the June 2017 attacks in Tehran, according to the official news website of the judiciary.

The building of the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of the founder of Iran’s current establishment, Ruhollah Khomeini, were targeted during the daylight assault that killed 17 people in total.

The court ruled $9.95m needs to be paid to compensate for financial damages while $104m and $199m are for moral and punitive damages, respectively, with the total nearing $313m.

Those convicted in the case include the US government, Obama, former President George W Bush, Central Command (CENTCOM), and its former commander Tommy Franks, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Treasury Department, weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin, and American Airlines Group.

None of the named entities or individuals is believed to hold any assets under Iranian control that could be seized, and the court did not say how the compensation order would be carried out.

As to why the US is being blamed for the attacks, the website cited comments by American officials about the “fundamental” role played by the US in “organising and guiding terrorist groups”, news and information published by US media, and books and speeches by US officials discussing “the CIA’s role in creating terrorist groups”, including ISIL.

The judiciary also acknowledged the ruling comes as a response to numerous orders by US courts over the years that have blamed Iran for “terrorist” assaults, and ordered compensation paid from seized Iranian assets.

“As this marks a violation of the immunity of the Iranian government, Iranian courts have also judged a variety of cases against the US government and officials, and have issued legal decisions and will continue to do so,” it said.

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