Families of terror victims and the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center are filing a lawsuit in a French court to confiscate Iranian funds passing through INSTEX – a mechanism established by Germany, Great Britain and France to bypass US economic sanctions against Iran.
An Israeli legal initiative could make it difficult for European financial mechanisms to do business with Iran. The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) was established by Germany, Great Britain and France with the goal of bypassing harsh economic sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran, and facilitating the transfer of money with the Islamic republic.
The INSTEX special purpose vehicle began operating nearly two weeks ago, but now families of terror victims and the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center – an NGO dedicated to “fighting terrorism and safeguarding Jewish rights worldwide” – have launched legal initiatives seeking to confiscate Iranian funds passing through INSTEX.
The plaintiffs are all Israeli and American victims of terror whose relatives were either murdered or wounded in attacks perpetrated in Israel by terrorist organizations funded by Iran, such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. The families have already been granted compensation upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars by federal courts in the US.
In an unprecedented lawsuit, these families on Monday will file a lawsuit in the Court of Sessions in France, demanding that all money, oil or other goods belonging to Iran or earmarked for Iran via a third party, will be paid as compensation to the victims of terror as part of the enforcement of the American courts’ ruling. The families are being represented by attorney and Shurat Hadin President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, and French attorney Charles Meyer.
The American sanctions forbid the transfer of Iranian funds through the international banking system. European and Asian companies, afraid of American sanctions, consequently ceased doing business with Iran, leading to INSTEX to allow Europe and other parties to continue buying Iranian oil.
One of the families involved in the lawsuit, the Braun family, won a stunning $178,500,000 US court judgment against Iran and Syria in January 2017, for Iran and Syria’s provision of material support to Hamas, which perpetrated the attack which led to the death of three-month-old baby girl, Chaya Zissel Braun, who was murdered in a vehicular terror attack on the Jerusalem light rail in October 2014.
“It is appalling that the Europeans are continuing to help the regime in Tehran do business, when they know that Iran is still supporting and funding terror against Jews,” said Darshan-Leitner.