A federal judge in a civil case focused on a 2003 attack by terrorists backed by the Iranian government ordered the Boeing corporation to turn over to the family of an Israeli terror victim details of a $16 billion contract with Iran Air, Iran’s flagship carrier, to purchase 80 commercial planes.
The relatives of 7-year-old Israeli girl Noam Leibovitch are suing. She was killed by members of the Palestine Islamic Jihad, which the US State Department has described as an Iranian-funded terrorist organization, when they fired on the Leibovitch family as they traveled on a highway in Israel. Her sister, Shira Leibovitch, and other members of the family were injured.
They’re seeking to collect on a longstanding, $67-million civil judgment against Iran.
The disclosure came in a ruling this week by Chief US District Judge Ruben Castillo in Chicago, which stated that the Trump administration had notified the court that it is complying with the 2015 multiparty deal designed to restrict Iran’s nuclear program.
US President Donald Trump has sharply criticized the nuclear deal hammered out during the Obama administration. In turn, Iran has accused the US of not complying with terms of the deal, which also involved France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia and China.
The plaintiffs want to go through the contract to help determine which Iranian assets they might be able to access and seize in order to fulfill the $67 million judgment. The default judgment was entered after Iran failed to respond to the lawsuit in the US District Court in Chicago.
Castillo’s ruling, posted in the court docket Tuesday, rejects Boeing’s contention that providing the contract details to the victims would not only undermine the mega-contract with Iran Air — but could jeopardize the nuclear deal itself. That deal lifted sanctions on Iran and many hailed the Boeing contract in 2016 as an example of how the nuclear agreement benefited both countries.
Castillo said the Trump administration notice, dated February 2, declined to take a position on whether or not the judge should force Boeing to disclose the details of the contract.
US Representative Peter Roskam, an Illinois Republican, released a statement Thursday praising Castillo’s ruling, saying it is “indicative of the risks of doing business with the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.”
Boeing spokesman Chaz Bickers declined to comment Thursday. A message seeking comment from a lead attorney for the victims, Robert Tolchin, wasn’t returned.