A federal judge in New York has ordered Iran to pay $6 billion to the alleged families of 9/11 attacks even though a state investigation has found no link between Tehran and those who carried out the bombings.
The judgement, issued by Manhattan federal judge George Daniels on Tuesday, is also hollow because Iran has never responded to the lawsuit and is unlikely to ever pay.
The lawsuit claims that Iran provided technical assistance, training and planning to the al-Qaeda operatives that conducted the attacks.
However, the official investigation on the attacks, known as the 9/11 Commission Report, said that Iran did not play a direct role.
Nevertheless, Daniels insisted that the country was liable to more than 1,000 “parents, spouses, siblings and children” involved in the lawsuit.
He signed off on a pro forma default order against “the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran” after they refused to respond to the suit.
The lawsuit is not linked to a case filed against Saudi Arabia, which families of 9/11 victims say provided direct support for the attackers. Fifteen of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers were Saudi citizens.
Last April, a federal judge in New York ordered Tehran to pay $11 billion in compensation to victim families of the 9/11 attacks while Saudi Arabia was cleared, prompting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to denounce the ruling.
“I have lost every respect for US justice. The judgment by the Supreme Court and the other, even more absurd judgment by a New York circuit court deciding that Iran should pay damages for 9/11 are the height of absurdity,” he said.