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Iran Wants U.S. to Pay Tens of Billions in Damages for ‘Hostile Action and Crimes’

On Tuesday, Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) voted to pass a law that allows the Islamic Republic’s government to seek at least $68 billion in “material or moral damages” from the United States for 63 years of “hostile action and crime.”

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the text of the newly-minted law reads, “The Government has the duty to take the necessary measures seeking compensation for material and moral damages caused by the United States” to Iran.

It refers to the 1953 CIA-led attempt, along with the help of the English, to oust Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh — who was at one point a political and socialist activist — for his attempts to nationalize the country’s oil industry, and the Iran-Iraq war which took place between 1980 and 1988.

In 2013, the CIA admitted that it was involved in the coup in an attempt to overthrow Mosaddegh out of sympathy to the British, who needed the proceeds from Iranian oil to recover from the results of World War II. The oil company, which was called Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, is BP (British Petroleum) today.

The new Iranian law appears to be in response to an April 20 Supreme Court ruling by the United States that Iran must pay $2 billion in reparations from frozen central bank assets to survivors and relatives of the 241 U.S. Marines who perished in the 1983 bombings of military barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, and the 1996 Khobar Tower bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 Americans.

The ABC reported that the frozen funds are located in New York and that last week, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani stated his intention to take legal action in order to recover those frozen Iranian assets when he spoke to a crowd in Kerman, Iran. Rouhani reportedly said, “We will not allow the United States to swallow this money so easily.”

Although the Majles did not give a specific number, ABC notes that Vice President Majid Ansari said, “Iranian courts have already ruled that the US pay $US50 billion ($68 billion) in damages for its hostile actions” towards Iran.

This past March, U.S. District Judge George Daniels in New York also ordered Iran to pay over $10 billion to the families of victims who died on September 11, citing the Islamic Republic’s involvement in the incident. The majority of the terrorists involved in 911 were Saudi Arabian. Several of them had allegedly passed through Iran but did not have their passports stamped.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.

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