US Judge Orders $1.68B Payout Over 1983 Beirut Bombing

    US Judge Orders $1.68B Payout Over 1983 Beirut Bombing
    Last updated Mar 23, 2023
    Image credit: The National


    • On Wednesday, a US federal judge ordered that Iran's central bank and a European intermediary must pay out $1.68B to the family members of soldiers killed in the 1983 bombing of a US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut.
    • New York District Judge Loretta Preska said that a 2019 federal law denied Bank Markazi, Iran's central bank, sovereign immunity from the lawsuit. This is intended to enforce a ruling against Iran for providing material support to the bombing's perpetrators.
    • The lawsuit further identifies Luxembourg-based Clearstream Banking for holding the assets in a client account. The bank's parent company, Deutsche Boerse AG, stated it was considering an appeal.
    • Victims and their families received a $2.65B judgment against Iran in federal court in 2007 about the attack. Six years after, they tried to seize bond proceeds allegedly owned by Iran's central bank and managed by Clearstream to partially fulfill the court's ruling.
    • More recently, France asked Lebanese prosecutors to detain Yousef al-Khalil and Sanaa al-Khalil for their suspected involvement in the bombing, which also killed multiple French troops.
    • In 1983, a truck loaded with explosives destroyed the Marine barracks, killing 241 US service personnel and 58 French peacekeepers.


    Pro-establishment narrative

    The victims of this terrible terrorist attack deserve every bit of compensation that can be legally granted to them. The US deployed to Lebanon to protect Lebanese citizens and Palestinian refugees in the country, but Iran cynically used the US presence to its advantage by attacking the Marine barracks via one of its proxy militias. The victims and their families deserve justice.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Though the media often say that Hezbollah was behind the Marine barracks bombing, in reality, we may never know who exactly committed the attack. Lebanon was in a full-scale civil war with a myriad of different factions and armed groups fighting nationwide. Hezbollah didn't even exist in 1983 — the group was still forming in the wake of Israel's brutal occupation of the south.

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