Dozens of American terror victims have filed a civil lawsuit against the European Investment Bank over its financial ties with Iran.
The Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center, which represents the plaintiffs, has asked a Washington district court to seize $1 billion in Iranian funds held at EIB, saying the money is used to sponsor terrorism.
The Israeli advocacy group argued that Iran has never met any previous ruling ordering it to pay damages to hundreds of terror victims and their families, saying that the money should be used to pay some of those debts.
The group has also petitioned the court to force EIB to disclose the exact nature and scope of the assets its holds for Iran.
If the motion is granted, every Iranian dollar that enters one of the Tehran government’s EIB accounts would be automatically deferred to the plaintiffs. This would make Iran’s efforts to conduct business in Europe and worldwide exceedingly difficult.
Shurat Hadin’s motion was reportedly filed against the backdrop of a dispute between the European Investment Bank’s captains and the European Union officials controlling it.
EIB’s management has reportedly decided to sever its business ties with Iran over the serious implications these ties will have once the U.S. reimposes financial sanctions on the Islamic republic next month.
EU officials, however, have been sparing no effort to appease Iran in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump’s exit from the 2015 nuclear deal, and have therefore instructed the bank to increase its investments in Iran.
”There are close to $43 billion in unresolved American verdicts against Iran, which has been found liable for terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. Iran has refused to compensate the victims and is continuing to provide monetary support to terrorist groups around the world,” Shurat Hadin Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said Sunday.
”Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism. No bank in the Western world can carry on doing business with Iran as long as it continues to support murderous terrorist attacks, and as long as the Iranian regime refuses to pay out the judgments awarded against it on behalf of victims of terror,” she said.
Darshan-Leitner further asserted that “if the European Investment Bank continues to do business with Iran, funds sent to Iran through it will be diverted directly to financing terrorism.
”We will not rest and we will pursue the Iranian regime until it takes responsibility for its atrocities it has supported and compensates the victims, as ordered by U.S. courts,” she said.