Iran orders US to pay compensation for slain nuke scientists

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A court in Iran on Thursday ordered the United States government to pay over $4 billion to the families of Iranian nuclear scientists who have been killed in targeted attacks in recent years, state-run media reported.

The largely symbolic ruling underscores the es-calating tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s rapidly advancing nuclear program, with negotiations to restore the tattered atomic accord at a standstill.

Although Tehran has blamed Israel in the past for slayings targeting Iranian nuclear scientists since a decade ago, Iran did not directly accuse its arch-foe Israel in its announcement. Iran has not recognized Israel since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted the pro-West monarchy and brought Islamists to power.

The court mentioned Israel only in saying the U.S. supported the “Zionist regime” in its “organized crime” against the victims.

It’s unclear how the court decision, like a raft of previous Iranian cases against the U.S. as the two sides have engaged in a spiraling escalation of threats, would gain traction; there are no American assets to confiscate in the Islamic Republic.

Still, the court branch, which is dedicated to the review of Iranian complaints against the U.S., sum-moned 37 former American officials, including former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, as well as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Iran envoy Brian Hook and former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed tough economic sanctions on Iran that severed most of its oil revenues and international financial transactions.

President Joe Biden wanted to return to the ac-cord, but talks have stalled in recent weeks over America’s designation of Iran’s paramilitary Revo-lutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.—AP

 

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