Israeli group asks US court to block Boeing deal with Iran
An Israeli advocacy group on Thursday asked a US federal court to block aerospace giant Boeing Co.’s planned $16.6 billion deal with Iran Air, saying the Tehran government must first pay off billions of dollars in damages to families of people killed or wounded by Iranian-backed militant groups. In papers filed in the Northern District of Illinois court, the Shurat Hadin-Israel Law Center organization said it was seeking a lien against Boeing until the damages against Iran are recovered.
“We are going to seize all 100 airplanes,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the group’s director. “If Boeing thinks it will simply sell to Iran Air, which is 60 percent owned by the Iranian government, and pretend it is providing some sort of humanitarian civilian aid to a non-governmental entity, we will reveal the truth.”
Boeing did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Darshan-Leitner has represented attack victims in dozens of lawsuits in American courts. She said 10 rulings in her favor have ordered Iran to pay victims some $2 billion in compensation. Thus far, she says she has been able to collect about $200 million in seized Iranian bank accounts and assets on American soil.
Her organization represents families who are relatives of Americans victims of attacks perpetrated from 1995 to 2006 by Iran-backed groups like the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Last year the group filed to block the release of $100 billion in frozen Iranian assets in the United States following the US-led nuclear deal with Tehran. — A