Terror Award Against Iranian Bank Upheld

After a Hamas-sponsored cafeteria bombing at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a federal complaint was filed against Iran's central bank in Washington D.C., that ended in a $12.9 million judgment against the republic. Other lawsuits alleging that Iran bankrolled terrorism followed, leading to awards of $20 million for a bombing of a Jerusalem restaurant, $350 million for a 1990 mass shooting, and $590 million for the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Bank Melli has set forth numerous creative arguments as to why it shouldn't be liable for Iran's debt. However, the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that those arguments cannot save it from paying nearly $17.6 million to the victims of terrorist attacks in Israel, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.