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Iran rejects allegations of 9/11 involvement after US judgment implicates them

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast [official profile] denied [IRNA report, in Persian] that Iran was actively involved [press release] in the 9/11 [JURIST news archive] attacks after allegations in Thursday's default judgment [text, PDF; findings of facts and conclusions, PDF] in Havlish v. Bin Laden [materials]. A Southern District of New York [official website] judge granted the plaintiffs' motion for judgment against Iran, its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Kharmenei, former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani [BBC profiles] and several other sovereign defendants holding that they are liable under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA) [text] for knowingly aiding al Qaeda [JURIST news archive] through Hezbollah [BBC profile] in the 9/11 attack. The findings of facts concluded that Iran "provid[ed] safe haven to al Qaeda leaders and operatives, keeping them safe from retaliation by US forces" and "facilitat[ed] the travel of eight to ten of the 9/11 hijackers to Iran or Beirut immediately after their acquisition of their US visas." Mehmanparast stated that the allegations were unfounded and without merit: "The United States has made repeated false claims about its illegitimate political goals to endanger international peace and security."

The affidavits that were the foundation of the recent judgment filed [JURIST report] in May by relatives of 9/11 victims. The initial suit, Havlish v. Bin Laden was filed in 2002 after previous unsuccessful attempts to indict other nations in the 9/11 attacks through litigation. Two years ago, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] dismissed [JURIST report] a lawsuit initiated by survivors of the 9/11 attacks against Saudi Arabia and its four princes holding that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the princes intended the money they donated to be used for al Qaeda attacks. In addition, the court held that they were protected from prosecution under the FSIA. A similar ruling took place in 2005, when the US District Judge Richard Casey dismissed [JURIST report] Saudi Arabia, its defense minister and its ambassador to the UK as defendants in a 9/11 litigation due to their immunity from prosecution under the same act.

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