Iranian Court Orders U.S. To Pay 420 Mln Dollars for 1980 Surprise Attack

Remains of a burned-out U.S. helicopter lies in front of abandoned chopper in the eastern desert region of Iran, April 27,1980, one day after an abortive American commando raid to free the U.S. Embassy hostages. (AP Photo)

Iran announced Thursday a court ruling demanding the U.S. government pay 420 million dollars in reparations for inflicting material and moral damages on Iranian people during a 1980 military operation.

Citing the ruling issued at an undisclosed date by the 55th branch of the Tehran Court of Justice, the Iranian judiciary said the U.S. military should pay 10 million dollars to each of the 14 plaintiffs, totaling 140 million dollars in compensation for the damages it caused to them in a military mission, codenamed Operation Eagle Claw, in Iran’s eastern desert city of Tabas.

The Iranian tribunal also ordered the U.S. government to pay an additional 280 million dollars in punitive damages, reported the Mizan news agency of the Iranian judiciary.

The ruling came after hearing complaints were filed against the U.S. government by 14 plaintiffs, 13 of whom are either the heirs or family members of those killed in the U.S. “terrorist” attack while the rest one was taken hostage during the operation, the report said.

Operation Eagle Claw was a failed rescue mission launched by the U.S. in April 1980, to release 52 staffers at the U.S. embassy who had been held captive in the Iranian capital following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The operation failed as the U.S. forces and helicopters were stymied by a sandstorm in the desert.

According to Mizan, during the operation, the U.S. forces attacked a number of civilians, including passengers and drivers traveling on a nearby road, for no particular reason.