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It took more than 23 years, but victims of the 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing in Beirut received a final court victory last week in their fight to hold the government of Iran responsible for supporting the attack by Shiite militant group Hezbollah. The bombing killed 63 people, including 17 Americans. In a Sept. 7 order, Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia awarded damages to the final group of plaintiffs, bringing the total award to more than $335 million. Twenty-three Americans injured in the attack and 14 families of Americans killed in the bombing participated in the case. The lawsuit “represents a significant achievement for all of the victims who — unbowed by the personal tragedies they suffered . . . persisted in their efforts to expose Iran as a perpetrator of this brutality,” Bates wrote. But none of the plaintiffs has seen a penny from Iran, which has no substantial assets left in the United States. “It’s the end, but it’s also the beginning,” says Stuart Newberger, a Crowell & Moring partner leading the plaintiffs’ case. He’ll now try to seize Iran’s commercial assets in Europe. No one has successfully done so, but Newberger hopes to be the first.
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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