Did you know that, right now, Iran owes $43.5 billion in compensation to the families of the victims of its state-sponsored terror? And not once has the Obama administration demanded that the regime pay these families. Not one demand.
Instead, the administration has cut a deal whereby the president will go ahead without demanding justice and simply waive sanctions on Iran. “In short,” Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA) says, “Iran’s hardliners will get a payday while their victims await billions of dollars in compensation.”
Meehan is the author of H.R. 3457, the Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act. Set for a House vote today, this bill prevents President Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran until it pays what it owes to the victims of its terrorism. “It’s the least we can do for victims … and the families that have suffered at Iran’s hands,” Meehan says.
“Look, these are Marines who died protecting our barracks, these are American citizens who were sitting in cafes in Israel, these are people who were hijacked in planes and murdered in cold blood after being tortured. It’s some small measure of accountability that [Iran] should be required to pay [these families] before the very money we now have some influence over is returned.”
Also among Iran’s victims is Anne Dammarrell of Cincinnati, OH. Anne, then a State Department development officer, was badly injured in the 1983 bombing of our embassy in Beirut. Anne would go on to spearhead a lawsuit against Iran, and in 2003, when a federal judge ruled in her favor, she said, “I got what I wanted – someone who is an official figure has declared that Iran was responsible.” Anne got what she wanted, but she and so many others have still not gotten what they are owed.
This bill, which President Obama has now threatened to veto, is the next step in keeping our pledge to do all we can to stop this bad deal. It’s also just about justice. Until Iran pays these families what they are owed, it shouldn’t get a cent in sanctions relief. #NotOneCent – it’s that simple.