A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday ruled that $1.75 billion in Iranian funds be turned over to families of the victims of the 1983 bombings of a Marine barracks in Beirut.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York affirmed U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest's 2013 ruling that the money, currently held in a New York Citibank account, should be given to the families to help satisfy a $2.65 billion default judgment they won in 2007.
On October 23, 1983, at 6:22 a.m., a suicide bomber drove a large water delivery truck to the Beirut International Airport where the Marine Barracks was located.
After turning onto an access road leading to the compound, the driver rushed through a barbed-wire fence, passed between two sentry posts, crashed through the gate, and slammed into the lobby of the barracks. The huge explosion crumbled the four-story building, crushing the soldiers to death while they were sleeping.
The attack killed 241 U.S. service members.
In July 1987, the Iranian regime's then-Minister of Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), Mohsen Rafiqdoost, said, "Both the TNT and the ideology which in one blast sent to hell 400 officers, NCOs, and soldiers at the Marines headquarters were provided by Iran".
Rafiqdoost's comments were published in the Tehran daily Ressalat on July 20, 1987.