Iran court orders US to pay $50bn for Soleimani assassination

By AFP
December 07, 2023

TEHRAN: A Tehran court has ordered the US government to pay nearly $50 billion in damages for assassinating a top Iranian general nearly four years ago, the judiciary said on Wednesday.

Then-US president Donald Trump ordered a drone strike near Baghdad airport that killed General Qasem Soleimani, 62, and his Iraqi lieutenant Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on January 3, 2020. Days later, Iran retaliated by firing missiles at bases in Iraq housing American and other coalition troops. No US personnel were killed but Washington said dozens suffered traumatic brain injuries.

A man lifts a placard depicting slain Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani (L) and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as fighters bearing flags of Iraq and paramilitary groups, including al-Nujaba and Kataib Hezbollah, march during a funeral in Baghdad for five militants killed a day earlier in a US strike in northern Iraq, on December 4, 2023. — AFP

The Iranian judiciary´s Mizan Online news agency said that a Tehran court had sentenced the US government to pay $49.7 billion in “material, moral and punitive damages” after a lawsuit filed by more than 3,300 Iranians.

The court found 42 individuals and legal persons guilty, including Trump, the US government, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former defense secretary Mark Esper, Mizan added. Soleimani commanded the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

He was one of the country´s most popular public figures who spearheaded Iran´s Middle East operations and was seen as a hero of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Iranian courts have now handed down several rulings against the United States. Last month an Iranian court ordered the US government to pay $420 million in compensation to victims of an abortive 1980 operation to free hostages held at the US embassy.