The sum of terrorism-related verdicts returned by American courts against the Iranian government and Iranian leaders stands at about $6 billion, according to court records and congressional reports. The rulings hold Iran responsible for terrorist attacks carried out by militant groups the country has sponsored, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The question is, how to collect the money? Well, at least for now, Congress says it’s OK for it to come out of your pocket:
While Congress has allowed the plaintiffs in 16 terror-related cases to be paid out of the American treasury. Laws passed in 2000 and 2002 allowed payments totaling approximately $400 million to those plaintiffs. The sum corresponds to an amount the late Shah of Iran’s government left in American military sales accounts.
Mr. Flatow said it would be better to get the money from Iran directly, but he defended the government payments as similar to the compensation paid to victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. He said two bills pending in Congress would make it easier to collect the awards from Iran.
Think about that next April 15, and every time you remember our dependency on foreign oil. (And please, don’t write telling me the Shah’s funds were in “a lockbox”.)
In the meantime, Iran announced it fired what it called the world’s fastest underwater missile. Hugo’s been saying that “Iran and Venezuela, these two brothers, are and will be together forever”:
Rjock has also reported on a secret agreement made between Iran and Venezuela. The Iranians agreed to sell long-range missile to Chavez that would be transported on Venezuelan-flagged vessels traveling to Cuba. If true, this may be an indication that Cuba is interested in obtaining Iranian technology for ballistic missiles as well
There’s some speculation that Chavez’s government could be planning to provide Tehran with uranium for its nuclear program.
What to do? We just need to understand the “root causes” for the behavior of all these charismatic-leaders-helping-the-poor-offering-free-health-care-education-adult-literacy-and-job-training-initiatives-that-help-millions-of-[insert country name here], of course.
Update More at Dreams Into Lightning:
The regime’s new weapons are formidable, but the rush to deploy them hints at desperation.
Read it all.
Update 2 Roger asks, What “end of history”?