Israeli legal group warns British telecom company to stop aiding Iran

Shurat HaDin says Inmarsat helps Tehran perpetrate terrorism by providing Iranian ships with satellite services

Ilan Ben Zion is an AFP reporter and a former news editor at The Times of Israel.

Iranian navy frigate IS Alvand passing through Egypt's Suez Canal in February 2011. (AP, File)
Iranian navy frigate IS Alvand passing through Egypt's Suez Canal in February 2011. (AP, File)

British satellite company Inmarsat is in hot water with an Israeli legal group that charges that the company’s provision of guidance systems to Iranian commercial and military vehicles aids Iran’s terror activities.

Shurat HaDin, a Ramat Gan-based legal organization that pursues civil litigation against terrorist organizations, wrote a letter to Inmarsat warning it to stop providing its services to Iran or risk “civil liability from American citizens or others who suffer as a result of Iran’s international sponsorship of terrorism.”

Shurat HaDin brought legal action against Inmarsat in 2011 for providing services to ships seeking to breach Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.

Despite a White House decision to increase sanctions against Iranian maritime vessels, the London-based telecom corporation continues to provide mobile satellite services to Iranian military and oil-carrying ships, Shurat HaDin claims.

Shurat HaDin describes its aims as “fighting for the rights of hundreds of terror victims” in order “to bankrupt the terror groups and grind their criminal activities to a halt.”

“We will not tolerate Inmarsat’s – or any corporation’s – profiting from the blood of innocent people. Anything short of immediate and decisive action on our part would be akin to acceptance. It is a simple issue of justice: Inmarsat must uphold its legal obligations in compliance with US Treasury regulations and immediately cease its support for Iran,” Shurat HaDin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said.

In 2008, a United States Supreme Court ruling in Boim v. Holy Land Foundation determined that individuals and companies that materially support terrorist organizations are liable for the murder and injuries the terrorists inflict.

Inmarsat has yet to respond to media inquiries.

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