In the largest terrorism-related forfeiture in U.S. history, the U.S. government has agreed to distribute the proceeds of the sale of an Iran-linked Manhattan skyscraper and other buildings to the families of the victims of Iranian-sponsored terror attacks.
The 36-story skyscraper located on 5th avenue and West 52nd street is majority owned by the Alavi Foundation, a non-profit organization that runs Islamic centers and promotes Persian culture. A 2009 lawsuit by the U.S. government claimed that the Alavi Foundation and two minority owners of the building, Assa Corp and Assa Co Ltd, had ties to the Iranian government.
The settlement includes the families and estates of victims of Iranian-linked terrorist attacks over the last 30 years, including 1983 Marine Barracks bombings in Beirut, the 1996 Khobar Tower attacks in Saudi Arabia, and terror attacks in Israel.
The settlement decision allows for the U.S. government to recoup litigation and sales costs on the forfeited property, while the rest of the proceeds will be distributed to the plaintiffs at a rate based on the unpaid damages awarded in previous court settlements, Reuters reported.