A federal judge has awarded $300 million in punitive damages in each of two suicide bombings blamed on Iran and Iranian-backed Islamic groups.
One of Thursday's rulings came on behalf of the family of Alan Beer, a U.S. citizen who was killed in Jerusalem in 2003 in the bombing of a bus by the Iran-backed organization Hamas.
The other award was made to American citizen Seth Haim, his father and his brother. They were injured in the 1995 bombing of a bus in the Gaza Strip by the Iranian-supported Shaqaqi Faction of the Palestine Islamic Jihad.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said he was making the awards _ which will be difficult, perhaps impossible, for the families to collect _ in the interest of deterring future terrorist attacks.
In both cases, survivors sued Iran and so to collect Lamberth's award, their lawyers must find Iranian assets in a country with judges willing to order those assets seized on their behalf based on Lamberth's rulings.