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US Supreme court rules Iran must pay nearly $2 billion to Marine Corps families

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Family members and friends as well as foreign dignitaries gathered together to remember those lost during the peacekeeping presence in Beirut during the 23rd annual Commemoration of the Beirut Memorial Observance Ceremony at the Camp Lejeune Memorial Gardens, Oct. 23, 2009. (Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright)
Family members and friends as well as foreign dignitaries gathered together to remember those lost during the peacekeeping presence in Beirut during the 23rd annual Commemoration of the Beirut Memorial Observance Ceremony at the Camp Lejeune Memorial Gardens, Oct. 23, 2009. (Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright)

The US Supreme Court has ruled against Iran’s central bank, clearing the way for nearly $2 billion in frozen assets to be  turned over to Americans, whose relatives were victims of terror attacks.

The high court ruled 6-2 in favor of over 1,000 loved ones of the 241 U.S. service members who died in the 1983 Marine barracks Beirut bombing and victims of other attacks linked to Iran, the Marine Corps Times reported.

Rescue and clean-up crews search for casualties following the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut on October 23, 1983.
Rescue and clean-up crews search for casualties following the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut on October 23, 1983.

In 2012, Congress passed a law specifically directing that Bank Markazi’s assets in the US be turned over to the families.

The central bank complained that Congress was “intruding into the business of federal courts.”

Federal law usually bars lawsuits against foreign governments, but in terrorism cases — there is an exception.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote the opinion for the court, said: the law “does not transgress restraints placed on Congress and the president by the Constitution.”

President Obama issued an executive order in 2012 to freeze the assets of “any Iranian financial institution, including the central bank of Iran, that are in the United States.”

The case brought together the Obama administration and the Republican-led Congress, as well as most justices on the high court, the LA Times reported.

Chief Justice John Roberts said Congress may not decide individual cases. “At issue here is a basic principle, not a technical rule,” he wrote in his dissent, joined only by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

More than 1,300 people are among the relatives of the victims of the Beirut bombing, the 1996 terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia and other attacks that were carried out by groups with links to Iran.

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