SCOTUS Rules Iran Must Pay $2.65B to Terror Victims

Source: U.S. Supreme Court Rules Iran Must Pay American Bomb Victim Families h/t TheReligionOfPeace.com

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that almost $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets must be turned over to American families of people killed in the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran.

The court’s 6-2 ruling dealt a setback to Iran’s central bank, finding that the U.S. Congress did not usurp the authority of American courts by passing a 2012 law stating that the frozen funds should go toward satisfying a $2.65 billion judgment won by the families against Iran in U.S. federal court in 2007.

Bank Markazi had challenged a 2014 ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the assets, bonds held in a trust account overseen by former federal judge Stanley Sporkin, should be handed over to the more than 1,000 American plaintiffs.

With the legal questions resolved, lawyers for the plaintiffs said all that is left is for a federal judge to allow Sporkin to distribute the funds.

The lead plaintiff was Deborah Peterson, whose brother, Marine Lance Corporal James Knipple, died in the Beirut bombing. Peterson said for her the legal fight has never been about the just money.

“The mission was for those responsible for the bombing to be held accountable and for the world to understand what happened in Beirut,” Peterson said.

Ted Olson, the lawyer for the victims who argued the case before the Supreme Court, said the ruling brings “long-overdue relief to more than 1,000 victims of Iranian terrorism and their families, many of whom have waited decades for redress.”

Jeffrey Lamken, the Iranian bank’s attorney, declined to comment.

The plaintiffs have waged a long legal battle seeking compensation for attacks they say Iran orchestrated. Congress inserted itself into the dispute by passing the law to help the plaintiffs obtain the Iranian funds.

The plaintiffs accused Iran of providing material support to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shi’ite Islamist political and military group responsible for the 1983 truck bomb attack at the Marine compound in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. service members.

They also sought compensation related to other attacks including the 1996 Khobar Towers truck bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. service members.

Caragh Fay, a lawyer representing the victims of the Beirut attack, said it could take from three months to a year for the funds to be dispersed to plaintiffs, depending in part on recommendations Sporkin first has to make to the judge.

Money will go to the estates of service members who died in the attack, their families and to those who survived the attacks. Payouts will range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, Fay said.

Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, criticized the ruling, saying Congress was “commandeering the courts to make a political judgment look like a judicial one.” Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined his dissent.

Air France forcing stewardesses to wear Islamic headscarves in Iran

Source: Air France stewardesses mutiny over order to wear headscarves

Air France stewardesses, furious at being ordered to wear headscarves in Tehran, say they will refuse to fly to the Iranian capital when the airline resumes the service later this month.

Female members of flight crews have been ordered to cover their hair once they disembark in Tehran and unions are demanding that the flights be made voluntary for women.

The resumption of a thrice-weekly service between Paris and Tehran, planned for April 17 after an eight-year break, follows a thaw in relations since Iran agreed to dismantle large sections of its nuclear programme.

Iranian women have been forced by law to cover their hair or face stiff fines since the 1979 Islamic revolution. In staunchly secular France, however, public signs of religion have been frowned upon since a 1905 law separating church and state.

French women see Islamic headscarves and veils as an affront to their dignity. Headscarves are banned in French state schools and offices, and it is illegal to wear the full-face Muslim veil in public.

Flore Arrighi, head of the UNAC flight crews’ union, said: “It is not our role to pass judgement on the wearing of headscarves or veils in Iran. What we are denouncing is that it is being made compulsory. Stewardesses must be given the right to refuse these flights.”

She added that female staff were entitled to exercise “individual freedoms”.

The financially ailing French airline, which sees the resumption of Tehran flights as an “excellent” business development, pointed out that other airline staff were obliged to comply with Iranian rules. “Tolerance and respect for the customs of the countries we serve are part of the values of our company,” a spokesman said.

In Saudi Arabia, stewardesses must wear the “abaya”, a long robe that covers the body, but unlike Saudi women they are not compelled to wear face veils.

Air France argued that French law allows “the restriction of individual liberties” if “justified by the nature of the task to be accomplished.”

The deputy head of the SNPNC flight crews’ union, Christophe Pillet, said: “Female staff do not wish to have dress regulations imposed on them, especially the obligation to wear an Air France scarf that completely covers their hair as soon as they leave the plane.”

Stewardesses normally have a choice between a uniform with a skirt or trousers, but they have been instructed to wear a long jacket and trousers on Tehran flights.

Mr Pillet said flight crews were prepared to wear headscarves in Iran when out of uniform, but objected to being ordered to wear them as part of their uniform.

Unions want Tehran flights to be made voluntary without penalties for staff, deductions from wages or consequences for their careers.

Another union representing flight crews, UNAC, has written to the minister for women’s rights and families, Laurence Rossignol, complaining about the headscarf order.

Ms Rossignol, who describes herself as “a feminist with a modern vision of the family”, was herself embroiled in a row over headscarves last month prompted by Marks and Spencer’s decision to sell the burkini, or full body swimsuit. Women who wear veils or Islamic headscarves, she said, were like “negroes who supported slavery”.

Françoise Redolfi of the UNSA union said Air France had told staff it was restoring rules that applied before 2008, when Air France discontinued flights to Iran as the country’s relations with western nations deteriorated over concerns that it was seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

“The general environment now is much more sensitive,” she said. “Many female members of flight crews have informed us that it is out of the question that they be obliged to wear headscarves. It is not professional and they see it as an insult to their dignity.”

 

 

US Embassy confirms “several” Americans missing in Baghdad, Iranian Militia Suspected

This happened BEFORE team Obama released 7 Iranian criminals and dropped charges against 14 other Iranians in exchange for five Americans, but not the longest held American prisoner in Iran.

Source: Embassy confirms “several” Americans missing in Baghdad – CBS News

BAGHDAD – The U.S. Embassy confirmed Sunday that “several” Americans have gone missing in Iraq, after local media reported that three Americans had been kidnapped in the Iraqi capital.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Scott Bolz said, “We are working in full cooperation with Iraqi authorities to locate the missing Americans.”

Last week the U.S. embassy received threat information that an Iranian-backed militia group wanted to grab an American or an American contractor, according to a State Department source.

Officials had hoped the Iranian government would have told the militia group to hold off because of all the negotiations surrounding the prisoner swap that saw the release of four Americans. The State Department source fears one of the groups might have “gone off the reservation.”

Bolz did not identify the missing Americans or say what they were doing in Iraq.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said that “due to privacy considerations” he had nothing further to add about the missing Americans. “The safety and security of Americans abroad is our highest priority,” Kirby said.

The comments by U.S. officials came after the Arab news channel, al-Arabiya, citing its own sources, reported that three Americans had been kidnapped by militias in Baghdad.

Iraqi media reports said the Americans went missing in south Baghdad on their way to Baghdad International Airport. A Western security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, said Sunday that he had been told that three Americans went missing 24 to 48 hours ago.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Kidnappings in Iraq have been carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Shiite militias as well as criminal gangs demanding ransom payments or disgruntled employees seeking to resolve workplace disputes.

Obama grants clemency to 7 Iranian criminals in U.S., drops charges on 14 more

‘Hardly a Fair Swap’ with Iran

“…you’re talking about exchanging hostages taken by Iran and Americans in exchange for criminals and potential terrorists


Obama sent reinforcements to al Qaeda and the Taliban this week. He just did the same for the Iranian regime who scored multiple propaganda victories against the Great Satan this week including capturing and humiliating U.S. Navy seamen, forcing one to wear a hijab.

One wonders is the U.S. military is too decimated or too scared to even consider a military coup to overthrow the rogue dictator now openly defying and putting American civilians and soldiers at risk while protecting Muslims worldwide. Jarret, Brennan and Kerry all have Iranian connections the media doesn’t tell you about.

Iran-humilates-US

Obama’s Navy

Source: Obama grants clemency to seven in Iran deal – POLITICO

As part of a prisoner swap with Iran, President Barack Obama granted clemency to seven men of Iranian origin either facing criminal charges in U.S. courts or already serving time in U.S. prison, an American official confirmed Saturday.

The deal led to the release of four Americans being held in Iran: Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian as well as Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, the official said. In a move that was not part of the prisoner deal, the Iranians have also released a fifth American in their custody, student Matthew Trevithick.

While an official confirmed Obama issued seven grants of clemency in the deal with the Iranians, spokespeople at the Justice Department and the White House did not immediately release the names of those spared in the U.S. legal system.

However, Iran’s Fars news agency released seven names, which correspond with U.S. court records on pending or recent cases.

Obama appeared to have granted rare, pre-trial pardons to three men awaiting trial in Houston for violating U.S. export laws by shipping high-tech equipment to Iran: Bahram Mechanic and Tooraj Faridi of Houston and Khosrow Afghahi of Los Angeles.

On Saturday, prosecutors moved to drop charges against Matin Sadeghi, a fugitive in the same case who was being sought in a wanted poster available on the FBI website. A court filing said the move was undertaken “based on significant foreign policy interests of the United States.” Until Saturday, Obama had never granted a pre-trial pardon to anyone, nor had his predecessor, President George W. Bush.

“It’s really unusual,” said former Justice Department pardon attorney Margaret Love, noting that President George H. W. Bush did some in the Iran-Contra probe and President Bill Clinton did as well. President Gerald Ford famously issued an unconditional pardon not only pre-trial, but without any charges having been filed, for former President Richard Nixon in the Watergate affair.

One reason to grant a pardon, rather than simply dismiss charges, is that the pardon provides an assurance that the charges will never be refiled. It’s possible the Iranians insisted on such certainty.

“That’s the reason you would do a full pardon,” Love said. “If the charges are dropped, you can be recharged.”

Three people already serving prison time appeared to have had their sentences cut short through the president’s commutation power Saturday: Arash Ghahreman of New York, serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence for planning to send fiber optic gyroscopes and electron tube to Iran and due for release in 2020; Nader Modanlo of Potomac, Md., serving an eight-year sentence for providing satellite services to Iran and due for release in 2021 and Ali Saboonchi of Parkville, Md., serving a two-year sentence for providing high-tech industrial parts to Iran and due for release in November of this year.

Prosecutors in San Diego also moved Saturday to dismiss charges against another individual charged in the same case as Ghahreman, Koorush Taherkhani, as well as a company, TIG Marine Engineering Services. Prosecutors called Taherkhani and the company “fugitives.”

“The United States’ makes this motion in the interest of justice based on issues regarding securing the extradition of the defendants, as well as significant foreign policy interests,” the motion said.

POLITICO also located three cases involving fugitive defendants in federal court in Washington which were dropped Saturday. All involved alleged export control or sanctions violations regarding goods headed for Iran. Mohammed Sharbaf was accused of shipping lift truck parts, Amin Ravan of shipping antennas and Mohammad Mohammadi of sending aircraft parts.

A U.S. official confirmed charges were dropped in cases involving 14 individuals. The moves will allow those individuals to travel more freely outside Iran.

“The United States also removed any Interpol red notices and dismissed any charges against 14 Iranians for whom it was assessed that extradition requests were unlikely to be successful,” the official said.

A hacker who admitted to breaking into the computers of a Vermont-based engineering firm also was on the list of those winning clemency from Obama in the Iran deal. Nima Golestaneh was extradited from Turkey to the United States in February to face the charges in federal court in Burlington, Vt.

Just last month, Golestaneh pled guilty to wire fraud and unauthorized access to computers. He was awaiting sentencing next month. Now, that sentencing will apparently not take place, but as of mid-afternoon Saturday there was no indication in the court’s docket of any action by Obama or the Justice Department.

Obama has used his clemency powers before to advance international negotiations. In 2014, he granted commutations to three individuals—including a convicted murderer—as part of a rapprochement with Cuba that also led to the release of an American held there for years, Alan Gross, as well as another unidentified person in Cuban custody.

And in 2010, the U.S. and Russia brokered a prisoner swap that led to 10 people charged with acting as agents for Russia being given unusually short sentences of “time served.” They were immediately flown to Vienna and exchanged for four people being held in Russian jails.


It should also be noted that Ex-CIA contractor not in Iran prisoner release.

Related:

Sec of State John Kerry reveals daughter married Iranian-American with extensive ties to Iran

Best man at John Kerry’s daughter’s wedding is son of Iranian nuke negotiator

John Kerry assures nuclear Iran that Obama will waive new visa rules for them

John Kerry assures nuclear Iran that Obama will waive new visa rules for them

Recall that John Kerry’s daughter married a prominent Iranian and the Best man at John Kerry’s daughter’s wedding is son of Iranian nuke negotiator. Traitor Kerry says let the visas flow. 

via Republicans blast Kerry for suggesting Iran could skirt new visa rules

Republicans on Monday blasted Secretary of State John Kerry for suggesting in a letter to his Iranian counterpart that the administration could help the country get around new visa restrictions passed by Congress.

“Instead of bending over backwards to try to placate the Iranian regime, the White House needs to be holding it accountable for its recent missile tests, its continued support for terrorism, and its wrongful imprisonment of Americans,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., said in a statement to FoxNews.com.

At issue are tightened security requirements for America’s visa waiver program, which allows citizens of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. without visas. Under changes in the newly signed spending bill, people from those countries who have traveled to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan in the past five years must now obtain visas to enter the U.S.

Top Tehran officials, however, complained the changes violate the terms of the nuclear deal, which says the U.S. and other world powers will refrain from any policy intended to adversely affect normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.

Kerry responded to these concerns in a Dec. 19 letter to his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif — and suggested the administration could simply bypass the rules for Iran.

“I am also confident that the recent changes in visa requirements passed in Congress, which the Administration has the authority to waive, will not in any way prevent us from meeting our [nuclear deal] commitments, and that we will implement them so as not to interfere with legitimate business interests of Iran,” he said.

Kerry’s letter to Zarif assured that the U.S. would “adhere to the full measure of our commitments.” As for changes to the visa program, Kerry floated several alternative options for easing any impact on Iran – including waiving the new requirements.

“To this end, we have a number of potential tools available to us, including multiple entry ten-year business visas, programs for expediting business visas, and the waiver authority provided under the new legislation,” he wrote.

The legislation indeed includes a provision allowing the Homeland Security secretary to waive the requirements if the secretary determines this “is in the law enforcement or national security interests of the United States.”

But House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., voiced concern on Monday that Kerry was proposing a “blanket” waiver to accommodate Iran’s complaints. He said that is not Congress’ intent.

“Contrary to what the Secretary of State seems to be saying to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, it was not and has never been Congress’s intent to allow the Administration to grant a blanket waiver to travellers from Iran in order to facilitate the implementation of the Iran deal,” he said in a statement.

McCarthy said the point of the legislation was to strengthen security and “keep the American people safe from terrorism and from foreign travelers who potentially pose a threat to our homeland.”

Kerry’s assurances also raised concerns that the U.S. may be backing down to Iran’s complaints while at the same time reluctant to punish Tehran for its own potential violations.

“Instead of undermining Congressional intent regarding the visa waiver program, the White House should instead focus on Iran’s repeated violations of the U.N. Security Council’s bans on missile tests,” McCarthy said. “Iran’s unwillingness to follow these international agreements should be a red flag that the Iran nuclear deal isn’t worth the paper it is written on.”

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said Sunday that the change “contradicts” the nuclear deal.

“Definitely, this law adversely affects economic, cultural, scientific and tourism relations,” Araghchi was quoted by state TV as saying.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani made similar comments.

Asked about Kerry’s assurances at Monday’s daily briefing, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the secretary made clear they would “implement this new legislation so as not to interfere with legitimate business interests of Iran.”

Kirby said the law would be followed, but there are a “number of potential tools” to ensure this does not violate the nuclear deal. As for the DHS waiver authority, he said it’s too soon to say “if and when” that might be used.

The Kerry letter initially was obtained and published by the National Iranian American Council.

The State Department confirmed the document’s authenticity on Monday.


 

And Paul Ryan confirmed that Republicans are paper tigers, no different than their Democratic masters.

Connecticut: Immigrant engineer gets 8 years for attempt to deliver Air Force secrets to Iran

via Former Pratt Engineer Mozaffar Khazaee Given 8-Year Sentence For Attempt To Deliver Secrets To Iran – Hartford Courant

A former Pratt & Whitney engineer was sentenced to more than eight years in prison Friday for attempting to deliver what federal prosecutors called “highly sensitive” information about military jet engines to Iran.

Mozaffar Khazaee, 61, formerly of Manchester, was sentenced to 97 months and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant for violating the Arms Export Control Act.

Khazaee was accused of trying to send to Iran proprietary, trade-secret and export-controlled material relating to U.S. military jet engines, which he had stolen from Pratt and other U.S. defense contractors where he had worked. In addition to Pratt, Khazaee had been employed by General Electric and Rolls-Royce.

Bryant, at the urging of federal prosecutors, imposed a sentence that exceeded the 57- to 72-month sentence recommended by the advisory sentencing guidelines used in federal court.

“Violations of the Arms Export Control Act, particularly those involving attempts to transfer sensitive defense technology to a foreign power, are among the most significant national security threats we face, and we will continue to leverage the criminal justice system to prevent, confront, and disrupt them,” said John P. Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security.

While living in Connecticut in 2013, prosecutors said, Khazaee tried to send a shipping container to Iran that was packed with thousands of sensitive technical manuals, specification sheets, test results, technical drawings and data and other proprietary material relating to U.S. military jet engines, including those relating to the U.S. Air Force’s F35 Joint Strike Fighter program and the F-22 Raptor.

Khazaee was arrested in January 2014 while trying to board a flight to Iran at Newark Liberty International Airport. A search of his luggage turned up more protected materials concerning jet engines and $59,945 in cash.

h/t Vdare who writes:

How stupid did Pratt & Whitney have to be to employ an Iranian engineer? Mozaffar Khazaee was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison for attempting to carry sensitive material about the engines for the U.S. Air Force’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and F-22 Raptor as he left for Iran. He was arrested at the Newark International Airport in January 2014.

Khazaee was raised in Iran and entered to this country to attend the University of Oklahoma, later earning a doctorate in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University. Interestingly, Washington doesn’t mind thousands of foreign students from unfriendly nations studying technology and other useful subjects. Literally hundreds of thousands of Chinese from the communist People’s Republic are currently taking valued college slots, along with quite a number of Saudis (thanks to some cheapie social engineering from George W. Bush a decade ago). This year saw a record number of foreign students attending American universities, where the full tuition checks are welcome.

 

Best man at John Kerry’s daughter’s wedding is son of Iranian nuke negotiator

via You will NOT BELIEVE who was best man at John Kerry’s daughter’s wedding – AllenBWest.com.

You not might be aware that in 2009, the daughter of Secretary of State John Kerry, Dr. Vanessa Bradford Kerry, John Kerry’s younger daughter by his first wife, married an Iranian-American physician named Dr. Brian (Behrooz) Vala Nahed.

wedding_photp-300x180
Of course you’re not aware of it.

Reader’s of Creeping Sharia have been aware of Kerry’s Iranian family ties for several years now (see Sec of State John Kerry reveals daughter married Iranian-American with extensive ties to Iran). It gets worse though.

Brian (Behrooz) Nahed is son of Nooshin and Reza Vala Nahid of Los Angeles. Brian’s Persian birth name is “Behrooz Vala Nahid” but it is now shortened and Americanized in the media to “Brian Nahed.” At the time his engagement to Bradford Kerry, there was rarely any mention of Nahed’s Persian/Iranian ancestry, and even the official wedding announcement in the October 2009 issue of New York Times carefully avoids any reference to Dr. Nahed (Nahid)’s birthplace (which is uncommon in wedding announcements) and starts his biography from his college years.

 …d0 you think Secretary Kerry should have recused himself from the negotiations with Iran at the very outset because of his long-standing relationship to his Iranian counter-part, Mohammad Javad Zarif? Let me explain.

Zarif is the current minister of foreign affairs in the Rouhani administration and has held various significant diplomatic and cabinet posts since the 1990s. He was Kerry’s chief counterpart in the nuclear deal negotiations.

 Secretary Kerry and Zarif first met over a decade ago at a dinner party hosted by George Soros at his Manhattan penthouse. What a surprise. I have to say, connecting the dots gets more and more frightening.

 But it gets even worse. Guess who was the best man at the 2009 wedding between Kerry’s daughter Vanessa and Behrouz Vala Nahed? Javad Zarif’s son.

 Does this bother anyone at all?

 Apparently Kerry only revealed his daughter’s marriage to an Iranian-American once he had taken over as Secretary of State. But the subject never came up in his Senate confirmation hearing, either because Kerry never disclosed it, or because his former colleagues were “too polite” to bring it up.


 More via Is John Kerry representing America or Iran?:

Some Iranian-Americans believe that Secretary Kerry should have recused himself from the negotiations at the very outset because of his long-standing relationship to his Iranian counter-part, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Essentially, what Motaghi said is that Secretary Kerry is working as an agent of Iran and has been arm-twisting reluctant allies, such as the French, into accepting what they know is a bad deal.

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