Ontario’s Court of Appeal upheld a $1.7-billion judgment against the government of Iran in favor of American victims of terrorism, accusing Tehran of trying to derail Canada’s Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, National Post-Canada reports.
“The terrorist attacks out of which the respondents’ U.S. judgments arise are repugnant to civilized society. The fact that a foreign government would engage in the sponsorship of such atrocities is chilling,” wrote Justice C. William Hourigan. “There is nothing offensive about using peaceful legislative means to combat terrorism. To the contrary, awarding damages that may have a deterrent effect is a sensible and measured response to the state sponsorship of terrorism and is entirely consistent with Canadian legal morals.”
Victims of terror attacks and their families had sued Iran in the U.S. for arming, training and bankrolling Hamas and Hizbullah. The terror victims won their cases, but with few Iranian government assets remaining in the U.S., the victims turned to Canada for restitution, where Tehran maintained property and bank accounts. Canada’s Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, enacted in 2012, allows U.S. victims to seek Iran’s money in Canada.