US judge denies another effort to seize Iran assets.
The latest case involved Stuart Hersh, who was injured in a 1997 suicide bombing in Jerusalem. Hersh earlier won a $12 million award for the injury. He went to court in New York last week seeking to seize the several thousand dollars that Iran paid the Warwick Hotel in Manhattan for the stay this week of the Iranian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, a delegation headed by President Ahmadi-nejad.
But US District Judge Robert Patterson ruled Friday that Hersh could not get his hands on the money because the money belongs to the Warwick Hotel, not to the Islamic Republic.
Hersh's attorney, Robert Tolchin, told the New York Daily News, "It's unfortunate the hotel has done the legwork of Iran, finding a hyper-technical loophole in our motion." But others said the basis of the decision was not hyper-technical, but simply reflects the fact that funds paid to someone else for a service become that other person's property.
About $20 billion in judgments against Iran for acts of terrorism have been awarded to US citizens over the last 15 years. But no one has yet been able to attach any Iranian assets in payment for those judgments.