Home General News Iranian court orders US to pay for nuclear scientists

Iranian court orders US to pay for nuclear scientists

by Anthony L. Gonzalez

A court in Iran has ordered the US government to pay more than $4 billion ($5.8 billion) to the families of Iranian nuclear scientists killed in targeted attacks in recent years, state-run media reports.

The largely symbolic statement underscores escalating tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s rapidly advancing nuclear program, which has brought negotiations to a halt to restore the torn atomic deal.

Although Tehran has historically blamed Israel for killing Iranian nuclear scientists since a decade ago, Iran did not directly blame its nemesis Israel in its announcement.

Iranian court orders US to pay for nuclear scientists

Iran has not recognized Israel since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which ousted the pro-Western monarchy and brought Islamists to power.

The court only named Israel by saying the US supported the “Zionist regime” in its “organized crime” against the victims.

It’s unclear how the court’s decision, like a string of previous Iranian cases against the US, as the two sides engage in a spiraling escalation of threats, would gain traction; there are no US assets to seize in the Islamic Republic.

Still, the court, dedicated to adjudicating Iranian complaints against the US, has summoned 37 former US officials, including former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, as well as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Iran envoy Brian Hook, and former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed severe economic sanctions on Iran, breaking most of its oil revenues and international financial transactions.

President Joe Biden wanted to backtrack on the deal, but in recent weeks talks have stalled over America’s designation of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, Iran is enriching uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels under waning international scrutiny.

Earlier this month, Iran removed 27 surveillance cameras from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, as the director warned it could be a “fatal blow” to the nuclear deal.

The families of three nuclear scientists killed in targeted killings and a nuclear scientist injured in an attack filed a lawsuit in Tehran, the state-run IRNA news agency reported, without identifying the plaintiffs.

The court has ordered the US to pay total damages of $4.3 billion, including fines.

Iran and Israel are locked in a shadow war over the Middle East and its waters. That conflict has escalated with the recent suspected targeted killings of Iranian nuclear scientists and military officials.

In late 2020, Iran blamed Israel for killing its top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, with a remote-controlled machine gun while he was driving a car outside Tehran.

Iran has also imposed sanctions on prominent US political and military officials for alleged “terrorism” and “human rights abuses” in retaliation for the US assassination of Iran’s supreme commander, Qassem Soleimani, two years ago.

Related Articles