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Iran orders US to pay $50n for killing Soleimani

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The US government has been ordered by a court in Tehran to pay about $50 billion in damages for killing a top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, in a drone strike near four years ago, according to the judiciary on Wednesday.

Soleimani, 62, was the head of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. 

He was widely admired in Iran as a hero of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and a mastermind of Iran’s Middle East operations. 

He and his Iraqi deputy Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed by a US drone near Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020, on the orders of then-US president Donald Trump.

Iran responded by launching missiles at bases in Iraq where American and other coalition troops were stationed. No US personnel died but Washington said dozens suffered traumatic brain injuries.

More than 3,300 Iranians filed a lawsuit against the US government and 42 individuals and legal entities, including Trump, the US government, former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and former Defence Secretary, Mark Esper, Mizan Online news agency reported. 

The court found them guilty and sentenced the US government to pay $49.7 billion in “material, moral and punitive damages”, Mizan said.

This is not the first time that Iranian courts have issued rulings against the United States.

Last month, an Iranian court awarded $420 million in compensation to victims of a failed 1980 operation to rescue hostages held at the US embassy.

In August, another court demanded that Washington pay $330 million in damages for “planning a coup” in 1980 against the newly established Islamic republic.

These suits follow a series of multi-billion-dollar compensation rulings against Iran by US courts.

In 2016, the US Supreme Court decided that Iranian assets frozen in the United States should be paid to victims of attacks that Washington has blamed on Tehran, such as the 1983 bombing of a US Marine barracks in Beirut and a 1996 blast in Saudi Arabia.

Tehran denies any involvement in the attacks.

 

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