In response to President Donald Trump’s pullout of the Iranian nuclear deal, lawmakers in Iran lit a paper United States flag on fire shouting “Death to America.” Trump’s decision could destroy the 2015 nuclear accord, and the Iranian Parliament’s flag-burning demonstration speaks to the level of public anger in response to that decision. While Iran hopes other countries will preserve the deal—China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom are still in—many are pessimistic. The European Union has suggested they will do whatever they can to salvage the 2015 agreement.
Although U.S. flag-burning is not particularly rare in Iran, this may well be the first time a flag was burned inside the Iranian Parliament. The original agreement from 2015 restricted Iran’s nuclear program, however lifted the majority of international and United States sanctions against the country. The 2015 agreement failed to address the ballistic missile program in Iran, or the Syrian regional policies, however Iran is now threatening to resume all aspects of its former nuclear activities.
Iran’s History of State-Sponsored Terrorism
Many Americans feel apprehension regarding Iran’s threats and U.S. flag burning, and with good reason – Iran has a significant history of state-sponsored terrorism. United States citizens tend to be fairly insulated from terrorism incidents. Although we may hear a story on the news now and then about terrorism in other countries, unless we have a loved one stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan, the subject of terrorism can seem pretty remote. In particular, many of us have no idea where the considerable amounts of money which fund terrorism actually come from.
In fact, terrorists use banks—just like most of us do—and those who sponsor terrorists do the same. Beginning in about 2007, it was slowly uncovered that a number of foreign banks provided billions of dollars to Iran. Recently, it’s coming to light that Iran used those funds to, in turn, finance operations which killed U.S. civilians, soldiers and coalition forces. The money Iran obtained from these banks—who engaged in criminal conspiracy because they were aware Iran was a state sponsor of terrorism—was used to:
- Provide bounties to terrorists to attack U.S. soldiers, coalition forces and civilians;
- Supply IEDs, RPGs, EFPs and IRAMs to terrorists;
- Arm, train, fund and command Shia and Sunni terrorists, and
- Sponsor terrorist groups whose only goal was attacking American contractors and American soldiers.
These banks—and the country of Iran—violated U.S. sanctions, international law, and the ATA by providing the money to sponsor terrorism and kill Americans. American soldiers and contractors suffered such traumatic injuries as loss of vision, amputations, spinal cord injuries, PTSD, brain injuries and other explosion injuries as a result of Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism.
Several global banks have already entered into Deferred Prosecution Agreements and Consent Orders in which they admit to violating U.S. counterterrorism sanctions. These banks include:
- HSBC Holding Group Plc
- Credit Suisse AG
- Credit Suisse Asset Management Ltd.
- Commerzbank A.G.
- Standard Chartered Bank Plc
- Barclays Plc
- BNP Paribas S.A.
The banks knew full well that the money they were providing to Iran was funding Iraq and Afghanistan War terrorists, yet they even altered documents in an attempt to shield their actions from the United States Government.
The U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) allows any national of the U.S. or survivors of that person to sue for injuries resulting from acts of international terrorism. Explosion injury lawsuits may help those who are currently recovering from injuries resulting from bank-sponsored and state-sponsored terrorism, and an experienced U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act lawyer can help guide victims through this process.