Court tells Trump: De­cide on dis­clo­sure of Boe­ing-Iran de­tails

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By DANIEL K EISENBUD

A Chicago fed­eral court has asked Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to de­cide if US aerospace gi­ant Boe­ing must dis­close de­tails of a con­tro­ver­sial trans­ac­tion with Iran, af­ter an Is­raeli le­gal rights NGO warned that it will place liens on any planes slated for the coun­try if the com­pany goes through with an an­nounced sale.

In July, Shu­rat Hadin – Is­rael Law Cen­ter, which rep­re­sents fam­i­lies of vic­tims of Ira­nian-spon­sored ter­ror­ism who are due bil­lions in un­sat­is­fied US court judg­ments, said Iran must first sat­isfy its debts be­fore it can pur­chase the planes.

The court’s move comes af­ter a fam­ily of vic­tims sought to en­force its judg­ment against Ira­nian as­sets af­ter win­ning a set­tle­ment against the rogue na­tion in US fed­eral court.

Iran does not have reach­able as­sets in the US, but as a re­sult of 2015’s Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion (also known as the “Iran Deal” or JCPOA) en­tered into by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, Iran is in the process of pur­chas­ing bil­lions of dol­lars of air­craft from Boe­ing.

Fol­low­ing the Iran Deal, a mo­tion was filed by the Lei­bovitch fam­ily – which holds an un­paid $67 mil­lion judg­ment against Iran re­lat­ing to a 2003 ter­ror­ist at­tack in which their seven-year-old child was killed and other fam­ily mem­bers se­verely wounded – to freeze any as­sets owned by Iran that might be in Boe­ing’s pos­ses­sion.

Boe­ing has claimed that dis­clos­ing de­tails of the Ira­nian pur­chase will “in­ter­fere with US for­eign pol­icy to­ward Iran by ob­struct­ing a key com­po­nent of the in­ter­na­tional nu­clear deal.”

How­ever, ear­lier this month, US Dis­trict Chief Judge Ruben Castillo, for the North­ern Dis­trict of Illinois, or­dered the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to file a state­ment by Oc­to­ber 12 in­form­ing the court whether or not the govern­ment agrees that re­veal­ing de­tails of the Boe­ing deal will in­ter­fere with US for­eign pol­icy to­ward Iran.

Boe­ing has fought vig­or­ously to keep the de­tails of its agree­ments with Iran se­cret. Even its ar­gu­ments about whether the de­tails of the trans­ac­tions should be re­vealed have been filed with the court un­der seal, pre­vent­ing public in­spec­tion.

The Lei­bovitch fam­ily is rep­re­sented by US at­tor­ney Robert J. Tolchin and Is­raeli at­tor­ney Nit­sana Dar­shan-Leit­ner.

The $67m. judg­ment awarded to the Lei­bovitch fam­ily stated that Iran was li­able for fund­ing Pales­tinian Is­lamic Ji­had. Iran has yet to pay any­thing.

Fol­low­ing the Iran deal – which per­mit­ted cer­tain US com­pa­nies to en­gage in busi­ness with Iran – Boe­ing en­tered into a $16.6 bil­lion con­tract to sell 80 air­planes to Iran Air, which is 60% owned by the Ira­nian govern­ment.

At­tor­neys for the Lei­bovitch fam­ily served Boe­ing with an Illinois Ci­ta­tion to Dis­cover As­sets to de­ter­mine if there are any as­sets held by, or on be­half of, Iran – in­clud­ing rights to ac­quire such prop­erty in the fu­ture that could be used to sat­isfy the fam­ily’s judg­ment.

In a con­certed ef­fort to con­ceal de­tails of its deal­ings with Iran, Boe­ing has claimed to the court that dis­clos­ing the de­tails of its trans­ac­tions with the coun­try to en­able the court to as­sess whether or not the Lei­bovitch fam­ily can reach any Ira­nian as­sets would cause “griev­ous dam­age” to US na­tional se­cu­rity by “dis­rupt­ing the JCPOA.”

In re­sponse, Castillo re­quested a state­ment from the US govern­ment as to whether it con­tends that pro­vid­ing de­tails of the Boe­ing trans­ac­tion will, in fact, ob­struct key com­po­nents of the Iran nu­clear deal.

Ac­cord­ing to Dar­shan-Leit­ner, who is pres­i­dent of Shu­rat Hadin, Boe­ing “has raised ev­ery pos­si­ble ar­gu­ment to con­ceal the terms of its deal with the ter­ror­ist state of Iran.

“Rather than just lit­i­gate the mat­ter on its mer­its, and ad­mit it has no moral dilemma do­ing busi­ness with a rogue regime that is re­spon­si­ble for so much in­no­cent blood, it has gone on the at­tack against the fam­ily of the ter­ror vic­tims and their at­tor­neys,” she said. “The ter­ror vic­tims have the right to seize all prop­erty be­long­ing to Iran. Tehran is the pre­em­i­nent cause of in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism to­day, and no pub­licly traded US com­pany should agree to pro­vide it with air­planes that are be­ing di­rectly used to per­pe­trate ex­trem­ist vi­o­lence.”

Dar­shan-Leit­ner called on Boe­ing’s lead­er­ship and stock­hold­ers “to as­sist the Amer­i­can ter­ror vic­tims to pur­sue jus­tice, not serve as apol­o­gists for those that dev­as­tated their lives.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Israel

© PressReader. All rights reserved.