USA court orders Iran to compensate relatives of 9/11 victims

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Tehran has been ordered by a USA court to pay more than $6 billion to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, despite the fact that most of the plane hijackers were Saudi nationals, and no direct link was ever found to Iran.

The default judgment issued by Judge George B. Daniels finds the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran are liable for the deaths of 1,008 people whose families sued.

The amount of the money, ordered to pay, varies: $12.5 million per spouse, $8.5 million per parent, $8.5 million per child and $4.25 million per sibling. A 4.96 percent annual interest rate dating from 2001 will also be added.

"A record low for the reach of petrodollars: CIA & FDD fake news w/ selective AlQaeda docs re: Iran can't whitewash the role of United States allies in 9/11", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter a year ago.

The verdict does not make the Islamic republic any more likely to respond to the charge, which it has ignored since it was brought.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Iran's then-president Mohammad Khatami said: "Iran fully understands the feelings of the Americans about the terrorist attacks in NY and Washington on September 11".

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"But those findings should not overshadow the mountain of evidence presented against Saudi Arabia, which remains central to the plaintiffs' case".

Smoke pours from the twin towers of the World Trade Center after they were hit by two hijacked airliners in a terrorist attack September 11, 2001 in NY. The Saudi government has previously denied providing aid to the hijackers, many of whom were Saudi nationals, and last month Riyadh filed a bid to toss the lawsuit.

The court case that was first filed in 2004 was allowed to proceed in 2016 after Congress passed a law permitting the prosecution of parties that fund terrorism.

But lawyers argued that Iran helped train the hijackers and provided assistance, even though the 9/11 Commission found no evidence of that.

According to the ABC News broadcaster, a federal judge in NY decided that Iran must pay compensation to members of 1,008 families, who filed the lawsuit in 2004.

Almost 3,000 people were killed and another 6,000 were injured in the attacks.