There is ONE bill in the House that take’s Iran’s funds stored in a U.S. account and reserves them to compensate Iran’s American terrorism victims.H.R. 4070 is sponsored by Rep. Bob Turner (R-NY) and supported by Members of both parties. Iranian terrorists killed 241 of our servicemen, and injured hundreds more, in the 1983 bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. For years, the 1300 survivors and families of those killed have sought justice in American courts for that attack, and were awarded a judgment in federal court of over $2.6 billion against Iran. Their attorneys then identified and attached an account of $1.8 billion in Iranian central bank funds in a bank in NYC to satisfy that judgment. Then the families of the servicemen killed in the 1996 Iranian bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia won a judgment and now stand to share in that account. But without special legislation, the order freezing the funds could be lifted, possibly enabling Iran to recover the money. This morning, the Beirut Marine families issued a press release urging House Members to co-sponsor and pass H.R. 4070. Lynn Smith Derbyshire, whose brother was killed in the barracks bombing and is now national spokesperson for the Beirut Marine families, says, “The Government of Iran will continue to do everything it can to hurt Americans. We see no reason to enable Tehran’s campaign of terror. Allowing the Iranian Government to get this frozen money back would do just that.” The bill is similar to language inserted into the Senate version of the Iran sanctions bill, now numbered S. 2101, which was approved by the Senate Banking Committee on February 2 and awaits Senate floor action.
No other bill before the House actually takes Iran’s money and reserves it for Iran’s American victims. The Beirut Marine families are urging House Members to co-sponsor H.R. 4070 and bring it to the floor quickly.