The suit, which also included Saderat's subsidiary in London, charged
that Hizbullah used funding relayed by the Iranian banks to prepare for the
2006 war against Israel. During the 34-day war, Hizbullah fired about 4,500
rockets into Israel, mostly targeting civilian areas.
"This is the first lawsuit brought by terror victims against the Iranian
banking system," the center said.
The plaintiffs, comprised of Americans, Canadians and Israelis, have
also sought an unspecified sum in punitive damages. Attorneys Robert Tolchin
and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner were said to have based their claims on a 2007
determination by the U.S. Treasury Department that Iran's Central Bank
transferred funds to Hizbullah via London's Bank Saderat.
"In light of the explicit findings by the U.S. Treasury, we expect that
proving liability in this case will present no difficulties," Tolchin said.
Both Tolchin and Ms. Darshan-Leitner have represented Israeli victims of
Islamic insurgency attacks in suits against Fatah, Iran and Hamas. For her
part, Ms. Darshan-Leitner, based in Israel, said Iranian banks operate
freely in Europe despite their financial support to Hizbullah and other
"Without the funds transferred by these banks, Hizbullah would have been
unable to maintain its infrastructure, train its terrorist members or carry
out the rocket attacks," Ms. Darshan-Leitner said. "These banks, which
operate freely in Europe, intentionally aided and abetted Hizbullah
terrorism and are responsible for the injuries suffered by the victims of