Court Orders US Government to Pay $330 Million in Damages for Planning a Coup in Iran
In a recent ruling, a court in Tehran has ordered the US government to pay $330 million in damages for allegedly planning a coup against the newly established Islamic republic in 1980. The court’s decision comes after a legal petition was filed by relatives of those killed in the coup, accusing the United States of “planning and executing” the overthrow attempt.
Background of the Coup Attempt
The coup attempt took place a year after the 1979 Islamic revolution, which toppled the US-backed shah. Led by Saeed Mahdiyoun, a former Iranian air force commander, a group of mostly army officers aimed to seize control of military bases across the country and target strategic centers and residences of the revolution’s leaders. However, their efforts were thwarted by government forces, resulting in several casualties and numerous arrests.
Legal Petition and Court Ruling
Last year, the relatives of those killed in the coup filed a legal petition with Iran’s International Court, seeking damages for their loss. The court ruled in their favor, ordering the US government to pay $30 million in material and moral damages, along with $300 million in punitive damages.
Historical Context and Frozen Assets
The strained relationship between Tehran and Washington dates back to 1953 when the British and US intelligence services orchestrated the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, who had nationalized Iran’s lucrative oil industry. In 2016, the US Supreme Court ordered that Iranian assets frozen in the United States should be paid to victims of attacks attributed to Tehran, including the 1983 bombing of a US Marine barracks in Beirut and a 1996 blast in Saudi Arabia.
International Court of Justice’s Ruling
In March of this year, the International Court of Justice ruled that Washington’s freezing of funds belonging to several Iranian individuals and companies was “manifestly unreasonable.” However, the court stated that it had no jurisdiction to unblock nearly $2 billion in Iranian central bank assets frozen by the United States.
Ongoing Disputes and Denials
Tehran, which denies all responsibility for the attacks attributed to it by the United States, claims that a series of US court judgments have awarded victims a total of $56 billion in damages. The recent ruling ordering the US government to pay $330 million in damages for planning a coup adds to the ongoing disputes between the two nations.
The court’s decision to order the US government to pay $330 million in damages for allegedly planning a coup in Iran highlights the longstanding tensions between Tehran and Washington. While the ruling may provide some closure for the relatives of those killed in the coup attempt, it is unlikely to resolve the broader issues between the two nations. The ongoing disputes and denials regarding responsibility for past events continue to strain diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States.