Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center non-governmental organization has filed a motion in a U.S. federal court to legally block implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.
The NGO filed the motion on behalf of a group of American citizens who are victims of Iranian terrorism, holding more than a billion dollars in U.S. court judgements against the Islamic Republic.
The motion, filed Wednesday (Aug. 5) in U.S. federal court in New York, names as respondents the U.S. State Department, the Treasury Department, Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.
It enjoins the Obama administration from releasing an estimated $100 billion in frozen Iranian assets, adding more fuel to an already heated debate in the U.S. over the deal.
As part of the deal, U.S. and world economic sanctions would eventually be lifted, sooner rather than later due to a current motion submitted by the U.S. to the United Nations.
According to a statement by Shurat HaDin, under the deal signed by the U.S., world powers and Iran, the U.S. pledged to unfreeze $100 billion in Iranian assets belonging to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) primarily held in overseas bank accounts.
“The families claim that releasing the funds will preclude them from ever collecting on their judgments and deprive them of the only leverage they have to make Iran pay,” Shurat HaDin said in a statement released to media.
Last year the NGO won a judgment in New York’s federal district court against the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, who were both found guilty of supporting terrorist who perpetrated vicious terror attacks that killed and wounded dozens of American citizens more than a decade ago in Israel. The case dragged on for an entire decade.
According to a report by the Fox News network, the U.S. Department of Justice informed the court late last month that it is considering filing a “statement of interest” in the case by August 10, in a likely attempt to intervene in the financial judgement against the PLO and PA. A source said the Department of Justice is working together with the State Department on the matter, Fox reported.