Friday, May 18, 2012

Terrorism: 1983 Beirut Bombing Victims Urge House Foreign Affairs Committee to Help Seize Iran's Laundered Money

SOURCE Saylor Company Public Relations Counsel under the direction and authority of Thomas Fay, Esq. and Steven Perles, Esq

Victims of the 1983 Beirut bombing told the House Foreign Affairs Committee today that passing legislation which would make it easier to seize laundered Iranian funds to help compensate survivors and families of those killed in the bombing would go a long way in holding Iran accountable for its role in that bombing, which killed 241 American servicemen.

In a statement for the record, Lynn Smith Derbyshire, national spokesperson for the Beirut Families, urged the Committee to add provisions in H.R. 4070 by Representative Robert Turner (R-NY) to the final version of H.R. 1905, the House version of the Iran Sanctions Bill, passed late last year. H.R. 4070 tightens existing law governing attachment of Iranian assets in the U.S to pay court-ordered judgments to American victims of Iranian terrorism. With a broad coalition of bipartisan co-sponsors, H.R. 4070 also clarifies other current law regarding Iranian Central Bank immunity. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs unanimously included similar provisions, sponsored by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), in S. 2101, a companion Iran Sanctions Bill.

"We need to come at Iran from two angles – making it harder for it to perpetrate crimes, while holding it responsible for crimes it has already committed. Seizing funds laundered into the United States for commercial investment and giving those funds to victims of terrorism with valid final judgments goes a long way to accomplishing these goals," Ms. Derbyshire's statement said.

Ms. Derbyshire's brother, Marine Captain Vincent Smith, was killed in the Beirut bombing.
"My brother, Vince, was very dear to me. His murder ripped a hole in my life that has never healed. Every time there is another terrorist attack, the wound is ripped open again."

"I ask Congress to pass these two bills ... and to affect whatever additional legislative changes are necessary to impose such hardship on the Government of Iran that it will have no choice but to stop its wanton killing," Ms. Derbyshire implored.

Ms. Derbyshire's statement stressed that H.R. 4070 "will enable the U.S. to deprive Iran of $1.8 billion in funds it could otherwise use to fund its nuclear proliferation and terrorist activities."
The families have attached at least $1.8 billion in Iranian assets, which the Government of Iran placed in a U.S. bank and they are fighting in court to make sure that money is used to help pay part of a $2.6 billion judgment against Iran for sponsoring and carrying out the 1983 bombing.