An English court is deciding whether it will allow families of those killed in the 9/11 attacks to make claims against Iranian assets in Britain over their alleged role in the terrorist attack.
The family members are calling on the English court to enforce a decision made in the U.S. in a 2012 court case that awarded plaintiffs over $7 billion in damages after finding that there was sufficient evidence to show that Iran provided “material support and resources to al Qaeda for acts of terrorism,” according to a report by Reuters.
Iranian assets in Wales and England could be frozen should the English High Court agree to apply and enforce the ruling of that New York court case.
Some of the Iranian assets include a London building and funds held by two subsidiaries of state-owned banks, the report states.
A June 8 court ruling removed a barrier that was holding back the process of enforcing the New York ruling.
The law currently requires the UK’s Foreign Office (FCO) to formally deliver the requested legal papers to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) before enforcement procedures can begin. In this case, the judge ruled that it could be sufficient enough to inform the MFA via other communications, such as email, speeding up the process.
Now that the court decision has lifted that block, the High Court will be deciding if the New York ruling on Iran’s role in 9/11 can apply toward the English law, the family’s lawyer Natasha Harrison told Reuters.
If it can apply, the Iranian assets could be frozen. (RELATED: Iranian Politician Discusses Facilitation Of 9/11 Hijackers)
“Such allegations against Iran are aimed at diverting attentions from regional countries that were involved in the 9/11 attacks,” an Iranian official said. “We are a victim of terrorism and have always fought against terrorism.”
Lee Wolosky, another lawyer involved in the case, said that the plaintiffs intend to pursue Iranian assets “wherever in the world they may be found in order to enforce these judgments.”
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