TEHRAN, Iran (Transatlantic Today) — According to state-run media, an Iranian court on Thursday ordered the US government to pay more than $4 billion to the families of Iranian nuclear experts who have recently died in targeted strikes.
The primarily symbolic decision highlights the rising hostilities between Iran and the Western countries over Tehran’s rapidly developing nuclear programme, with talks to repair the atomic agreement at a standstill.
Iran did not specifically name its longtime enemy Israel in its remarks, despite Tehran having previously accused Israel of killing Iranian nuclear experts a decade ago. Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the pro-Western monarchy and installed Islamists as the new government, Iran has not recognised Israel.
Only while claiming that the United States had aided the “Zionist regime” in its “organised crime” against the victims did the court identify Israel.
Since there is no American property in the Islamic Republic to seize, it is unclear how the court ruling, like a number of other Iranian proceedings against the U.S., would acquire momentum given the two countries’ spiraling intensification of threats.
Even so, the court branch, which is responsible for reviewing Iranian objections against the United States, summoned 37 former American officers, including ex Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, former State Secretary Mike Pompeo and former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, and former ambassador to Iran Brian Hook.
In 2018, Trump pulled out of the nuclear agreement and reinstated severe economic sanctions on Iran, cutting off the majority of its oil earnings and global financial activities.
Talks have stagnated recently over America’s classification of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group, despite President Joe Biden’s desire to resume the agreement.
While under lessening international monitoring, Iran is refining uranium more closely than ever to levels suitable for use in weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s head warned that Iran’s removal of 27 surveillance cameras earlier this month may give a “fatal blow” to the nuclear agreement.
According to the nation’s state-run IRNA news agency, the case was filed in Tehran by the families of 3 nuclear scientists who had died in targeted killings and one nuclear scientist who had been injured in an attack. The plaintiffs were not named. The court mandated that the U.S. pay a total of $4.3 billion in damages, fines included.
Over the Mideast and its waters, Israel and Iran have been engaged in a shadow conflict. With the recent alleged targeted assassinations of Iranian military officers and nuclear experts, according to ABC NEWS, that confrontation has intensified. Iran accused Israel of shooting and murdering Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, its top nuclear expert, using a remote-controlled machine gun outside of Tehran in late 2020.
In response for the U.S. killing of Iran’s top commander, Qassem Soleimani, 2 years ago, Iran has now imposed sanctions on important American military and political figures for claimed “human rights violations” and “terrorism.”