Iran has been ordered to pay more than $6 billion to victims of the September 11 2001 attacks that killed some 3,000 people, Al Jazeera reported.
In a default judgement, the court held that "the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran" are liable for more than 1,000 individuals deaths, Judge George B Daniels of the southern district court of New York said.
Iran in total has been ordered to pay some "$12,500,000 per spouse, $8,500,000 per parent, $8,500,000 per child, and $4,250,000 per sibling" to families of those who died in the attacks.
The US court alleged that Iran is responsible for training and assisting the Al-Qaeda hijackers to conduct the attacks, although the full extent of Iran's involvement remains unclear.
9/11 Commission finds zero link to Iran
But the 9/11 commission set up to investigate the circumstances leading to the attacks found no evidence of Iranian support. The only factual matter is that some of the 9/11 attackers travelled via Iran on their way to Afghanistan without having their passports stamped at border control.
The legal case against Iran consists of up to 40 legal claims, gathered in the period of two years. But foreign governments are unable to be prosecuted in US courts over immunity protection. All this changed in 2016 when the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was enacted. This opens the floodgates for families and spouses of victims to file cases against any organisation, state or personnel who may have supported the attacks on 9/11.
Early this year, Saudi Arabia called upon US federal judge to reject a lawsuit that seeks to hold the Kingdom accountable for 9/11. Saudi Arabia has been accused of funding and directly supporting the 19 Al-Qaeda hijackers who crashed commercial flights into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.
Al-Qaeda continues to threaten the United States with lethal attacks, having set up multiple fronts across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The US in turn, has expanded its use of force beyond Iraq and Afghanistan under the pretext of the "War on Terror" to allegedly go after those responsible for the 9/11 attacks.