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senate Bill S. 1529

Should Iranian Assets in Luxembourg Be Seized as Restitution for Victims & Families of the 1983 Marine Barracks Bombing?

Argument in favor

The victims and families of the 1983 bombing at the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon should be paid the judgment they’ve gotten in the U.S. courts. As long as Iran refuses to pay the judgment itself, these parties should get restitution from the seizure of Iranian assets.

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08/28/2019
An ever growing list of trumps accomplishments and of those in congress who support him: Most recent: Thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. Was going to give you tax cuts but decided not to. Destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). Made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. Bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. Refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. Attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. Thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. Impeachment: Obstruction of Justice. Profiting from the Presidency. Collusion - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocating political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s strong women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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Gopin2020's Opinion
···
08/28/2019
I fully support and recommend seizing those Iranian assets as compensation for victims of terrorism, it’s at least some measure of comfort but can’t replace what’s been taken from these people. Hopefully some day democracy will come back to Iran. #MAGA
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JTJ's Opinion
···
08/28/2019
Let’s take back the money that obama gave them.
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Argument opposed

Lawmakers should defer to the Supreme Court’s ruling on this matter, as the Court (not members of Congress) interprets how and whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) applies to a foreign government’s assets held outside the U.S.

jimK's Opinion
···
08/28/2019
When you have severely wounded an animal and have backed it into a corner, it is not too wise to keep prodding it with a stick. Once you push an animal or a country to this limit you are only inviting a visceral, desperate, last ditch attack and in the process you will likely at least get bitten.. It is time to work with our allies and come up with an acceptable diplomatic approach and more realistic sanctions to keep Iran from deploying nuclear weapons. It is time to stop prodding them toward developing nukes as their only recourse. To negotiate does not mean our allies have to blindly follow our lead, particularly when we have no clear nor comprehensive overall strategy. To negotiate means to accept some level of compromise as the price for being part of the world community. Brinksmanship diplomacy only pushes others to the brink, and that is very dangerous for everyone. Reparations are certainly needed and have been needed for some time. Now, is not the time to use that issue to prod Iran. If we expect the world to respect our country, we need to play fair and not choose to throw our weight around just to get even or to further punish someone already being punished. That is what brutish bully’s do and that is how they lay a foundation for lasting hated and distrust by all.
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KansasTamale's Opinion
···
08/28/2019
Anything Tom Cotton is involved with will only cause MORE problems for Americans- like telling Trump to buy Greenland??? No. Because that is long over & we’ve moved on. Seems like these noncomepoops WANT TO GET US IN A NUCLEAR WAR WITH A COUNTRY WE WERE IN A CONTRACT WITH BEFORE TRUMP DUMPED THE CONTRACT.
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Brian's Opinion
···
08/28/2019
I'm not opposed to getting this restitution for victims of the bombing which was 35+ years ago, but right now this seems like throwing salt in the wound of our conflicts with Iran. I would prefer we work on a diplomatic solution to work with Iran to get this money or to find other means to pay these survivors without escalating conflict. No surprise that this comes from a war hawk like Tom Cotton.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedMay 16th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 1529?

This bill — the Supporting Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act of 2019 — would allow the survivors and families of the 1983 Marine Barracks bombing victims to receive restitution from $1.68 billion in Iranian funds currently held by Clearstream, a Luxembourg-based firm.

Impact

Families and survivors of the 1983 Marine Barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon; Iran; Iranian assets held by Clearstream; and Clearstream.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1529

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Tom Cotton introduced this bill to help American terror victims and their families collect financial judgments against Iran

“Iran's terrorist puppets killed 241 Americans in the 1983 Marine Corps bombing, including 220 Marines. Our bill will help victims and their families obtain restitution for Iran's bloody crimes from money the regime has laundered.” 

Original cosponsor Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) adds

“Our bipartisan bill would help deliver long-overdue justice for the victims of the Beirut bombing. The hundreds of Marine families who lost a loved one to Iranian state-sponsored terrorism have a right to restitution.”

This legislation has eight bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including five Republicans and three Democrats. Its House companion, the Our Obligation to Recognize American Heroes (OORAH) Act of 2019 (H.R.2790), is sponsored by Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN) with the support of 44 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 38 Republicans and six Democrats. Neither bill has received a committee vote.

This bill was proposed as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (S.1790), but ultimately didn’t wind up getting added to the bill before its passage.


Of NoteIn October 1983, an Iranian national drove a truck bomb into the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 220 Marines and dozens of other personnel. The attack was planned by Hezbollah, a terror group founded, trained, and personally supported by the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime’s complicity in the Beirut bombing has been “long recognized,” as the Supreme Court noted in the 2016 ruling Bank Markazi v. Peterson (Bank Markazi is Iran’s state-owned central bank).

Since the bombing, family members and survivors of the bombing, led by Deborah Peterson (the sister of Lance Cpl. James C. Knipple who was killed in the bombing), have pursued the Iranian government in the courts. They’ve won a total of $3.8 billion in judgments against Iran and have been trying to seize Iranian assets because Iran refuses to pay the restitution.

Currently, these families are seeking to enforce these judgments against Clearstream, a Deutsche Boerse subsidiary that is holding $1.68 billion of Iranian funds in Luxembourg which are owed to an Italian bank acting as a financial intermediary for Bank Markazi. This bank account was maintained by Clearstream with a correspondent account in New York invested in European bonds. In order to evade anti-money laundering laws, Clearstream used credits and debits instead of transferring U.S. dollars earned in New York. 

Generally, foreign governments have sovereign immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which makes them immune from lawsuits filed by private parties (such as the families and survivors of the Beirut bombing). However, an exception in FSIA for acts of terrorism committed by an “official, employee or agent” of a foreign government allows the Beirut families to obtain a judgment against Iran in American courts. 

In an attempt to collect part of the $3.8 billion owed to them, Peterson and the other Beirut families sued in New York to force Clearstream to turn over the $1.68 billion in Luxembourg to satisfy part of their judgment against Iran. However, a federal district court judge blocked their action, ruling that FSIA doesn’t allow the seizure of assets outside the U.S. 

The Second Circuit then overruled that decision, holding that FSIA doesn’t prevent the seizure of the assets of a foreign government outside of the U.S. (such as the Clearstream holdings in Luxembourg) because FSIA immunity doesn’t apply to property belonging to a foreign sovereign unless it’s located in the U.S.

Additionally, the Second Circuit found that when a court has personal jurisdiction over a non-governmental entity such as Clearstream Banking, it can, under applicable state law, “direct a non-non-sovereign in possession of a foreign sovereign’s extraterritorial assets to bring those assets to New York State.” The Second Circuit noted the potential foreign policy implications of its ruling, which seemed to it to be at odds with FSIA’s purpose “to facilitate and depoliticize litigation against foreign states and to minimize irritations in foreign relations arising out of such litigation.” However, it left it to Congress or the Supreme Court to resolve problems arising form its decision.

After the Second Court’s ruling, the case was remanded to the district court to determine if, once the Luxembourg assets are transferred to New York, any of the exceptions in the FSIA would allow the money to then be turned over to Peterson and her fellow plaintiffs.

The Iranian government and its banks want the Supreme Court to overturn the Second Court’s ruling and prevent the $1.68 billion from being used to compensate Peterson and her fellow plaintiffs. 

The Supreme Court has yet to indicate whether it will hear the case. 

Heritage Foundation fellows Hans A. von Spakosvky and Charles Stimson argue that the Trump administration, and specifically the Justice Dept., should support Peterson and the other Beirut bombing families by siding with the Second Circuit’s decision

“While sovereign immunity is an important legal doctrine that protects governmental interests and international diplomacy, it should not be used to protect state sponsors of terrorism. Moreover, the Second Circuit’s decision, in this case, is important to prevent outlaw regimes such as Iran from using financial intermediaries like Clearstream — which U.S. senators say is a money launderer — to get around sanctions imposed by our government and its allies.”

Separate from these proceedings in the U.S., Iran filed a suit against Clearstream in Luxembourg in January 2018. It is seeking to recover $4.9 billion in assets plus interest, including $1.9 billion turned over to Peterson and her fellow plaintiffs in 2013 and the $1.68 billion currently in question.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / FrankvandenBergh)

AKA

Supporting Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act of 2019

Official Title

A bill to make additional financial assets of the Government of Iran available to pay compensatory damages to the victims of terrorism sponsored by that Government, and for other purposes.

    An ever growing list of trumps accomplishments and of those in congress who support him: Most recent: Thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. Was going to give you tax cuts but decided not to. Destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). Made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. Bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. Refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. Attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. Thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. Impeachment: Obstruction of Justice. Profiting from the Presidency. Collusion - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocating political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s strong women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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    When you have severely wounded an animal and have backed it into a corner, it is not too wise to keep prodding it with a stick. Once you push an animal or a country to this limit you are only inviting a visceral, desperate, last ditch attack and in the process you will likely at least get bitten.. It is time to work with our allies and come up with an acceptable diplomatic approach and more realistic sanctions to keep Iran from deploying nuclear weapons. It is time to stop prodding them toward developing nukes as their only recourse. To negotiate does not mean our allies have to blindly follow our lead, particularly when we have no clear nor comprehensive overall strategy. To negotiate means to accept some level of compromise as the price for being part of the world community. Brinksmanship diplomacy only pushes others to the brink, and that is very dangerous for everyone. Reparations are certainly needed and have been needed for some time. Now, is not the time to use that issue to prod Iran. If we expect the world to respect our country, we need to play fair and not choose to throw our weight around just to get even or to further punish someone already being punished. That is what brutish bully’s do and that is how they lay a foundation for lasting hated and distrust by all.
    Like (68)
    Follow
    Share
    Anything Tom Cotton is involved with will only cause MORE problems for Americans- like telling Trump to buy Greenland??? No. Because that is long over & we’ve moved on. Seems like these noncomepoops WANT TO GET US IN A NUCLEAR WAR WITH A COUNTRY WE WERE IN A CONTRACT WITH BEFORE TRUMP DUMPED THE CONTRACT.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    I'm not opposed to getting this restitution for victims of the bombing which was 35+ years ago, but right now this seems like throwing salt in the wound of our conflicts with Iran. I would prefer we work on a diplomatic solution to work with Iran to get this money or to find other means to pay these survivors without escalating conflict. No surprise that this comes from a war hawk like Tom Cotton.
    Like (18)
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    I fully support and recommend seizing those Iranian assets as compensation for victims of terrorism, it’s at least some measure of comfort but can’t replace what’s been taken from these people. Hopefully some day democracy will come back to Iran. #MAGA
    Like (15)
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    How? The assets are not in the USA. This may come as a shock to some people, but we don’t rule the world.
    Like (13)
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    Let’s take back the money that obama gave them.
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    Now we are going to start a fight with Luxembourg?
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    Who gives two shits what Iran thinks. Get the money one way or another I say😉👊😎 #BeTough
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    The victims and families of the 1983 bombing at the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon should be paid the judgment they’ve gotten in the U.S. courts. As long as Iran refuses to pay the judgment itself, these parties should get restitution from the seizure of Iranian assets. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 8.30.19.....
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    To pick a fight with Luxembourg over something that happened between the US and Iran 20 years ago is a Real Housewives approach to foreign policy: petty and destructive. However unlike the catfights between people, we can’t just stop going to the same dinner outings. We’re all stuck on the same planet and we have to live with our choices for a very, very long time.
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    To all the people saying “no this will escalate with Iran” I ask you, shouldn’t those victims get compensation? Shouldn’t Iran by liable for this compensation? Do it!
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    Tom Cotton🤮 - he must be voted out of office ASAP along with the rest of the cruel, corrupt, criminal GOP.
    Like (6)
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    I agree fully with jimK on his response below. When you have severely wounded an animal and have backed it into a corner, it is not too wise to keep prodding it with a stick. Once you push an animal or a country to this limit you are only inviting a visceral, desperate, last ditch attack and in the process you will likely at least get bitten.. It is time to work with our allies and come up with an acceptable diplomatic approach and more realistic sanctions to keep Iran from deploying nuclear weapons. It is time to stop prodding them toward developing nukes as their only recourse. To negotiate does not mean our allies have to blindly follow our lead, particularly when we have no clear nor comprehensive overall strategy. To negotiate means to accept some level of compromise as the price for being part of the world community. Brinksmanship diplomacy only pushes others to the brink, and that is very dangerous for everyone. Reparations are certainly needed and have been needed for some time. Now, is not the time to use that issue to prod Iran. If we expect the world to respect our country, we need to play fair and not choose to throw our weight around just to get even or to further punish someone already being punished. That is what brutish bully’s do and that is how they lay a foundation for lasting hated and distrust by all.
    Like (5)
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    As USMC veteran I was all for it until I saw that Tom Cotton, the Heritage Foundation, DOJ and the #45 regime are supporting it! Can’t associate myself with those entities or anything they support!
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    MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS
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    The arrogance of this bill is astounding. These are funds being held in a different country with a foreign bank. In what universe does our government think that we can just take that money? Also, if we’re actually going to successfully negotiate with Iran to prevent them from building a nuclear weapon after Donnie boy ripped up the previous agreement out of spite, it’s best not anger them any further by taking their money.
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    IN LUXEMBOURG? 30 YEARS LATER? WHY HAS’NT THE US GOVERNMENT PAID FOR THAT? THE SERVICE MEMBERS WERE ON ACTIVE DUTY FOR US AT THE DIRECTION OF THAT WANNABE HERO RONALD REAGAN! HE PUT THEM IN HARMS WAY! LET HIS ESTATE PAY! REPUBLICANS BELIEVE HE WAS A DEMAGOGUE! HE WAS NOT.
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    I want our vets to get everything that’s due to them. However, seizing the assets of a foreign power while they are in the possession of yet another foreign power?? That sounds like an International Criminal Court matter.
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    If we started revenge for all wrong-doing the UNITED STATES would be enemy #1, Iran’s record can’t hold a candle to our atrocities! Hands off Iran!
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