A US judge ordered Iran to pay over $10 billion in damages to families of victims who died on September 11, 2001 – even though there is no evidence of Tehran’s direct connection to the attack. The same judge earlier cleared Saudi Arabia from culpability.
The default judgement was issued by US District Judge George Daniels in New York on Wednesday. Under the ruling, Tehran was ordered to pay $7.5 billion to 9/11 victims’ families, including $2 million to each victim’s estate for pain and suffering, and another $6.88 million in punitive damages. Insurers who paid for property damage and claimed their businesses were interrupted were awarded an additional $3 billion in the ruling.
The ruling is noteworthy particularly since none of the 19 hijackers on September 11 were Iranian citizens. Fifteen were citizens of Saudi Arabia, while two were from the United Arab Emirates, and one each from Egypt and Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia was legally cleared from paying billions in damages to families of 9/11 victims last year, after Judge Daniels dismissed claims that the country provided material support to the terrorists and ruled that Riyadh had sovereign immunity. Saudi attorneys argued in court that there was no evidence directly linking the country to 9/11.