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Iran Faces US Lawsuits Over Role In October 7 Atrocities

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A lawsuit has been filed in New York by three families of October 7 victims against Iran, Syria and Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.

According to the Semafor news website, the claimants include the Raanan family who saw Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie kidnapped to the Gaza Strip. They were both released under a prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel.

Two other claimants are the families of Daniel Levi Ludmir and Itay Glisko, both murdered by Hamas militants. Ludmir was a 34-year-old physician who was killed at Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7 when he was tending to the injured. Glisko, a 20-year-old sergeant of the Israeli army, lost his life on October 8 during clashes with Palestinian militants.

According to Semafor, the victims’ families hold Tehran and Damascus responsible for “arming and financing Hamas” and “helping to orchestrate” the October 7 offensive.

Binance and its former chief executive Changpeng Zhao have also been accused of “allowing Hamas to use the cryptocurrency platform to conduct financial transactions and make payments.”

The silhouette of a helicopter, which the Israel Defense Forces say was used to evacuate the injured soldiers, in a location given as Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in this handout image released on January 31, 2024.

In November, the US Department of Justice, Treasury, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission imposed a record $4.4 billion fine on Binance on allegations that it enabled the laundering of substantial sums of illicit money worldwide.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated, “Binance turned a blind eye to its legal obligations in the pursuit of profit. Its wilful failures allowed money to flow to terrorists, cybercriminals, and child abusers through its platform.”

Meanwhile, in a second case, NBC News reported that 67 US citizens filed a $1 billion federal lawsuit against Iran over its role in Hamas’s onslaught on Israel.

Some of those who were injured or taken hostage by Hamas militants as well as the families of the murdered are among the plaintiffs in the suit which was filed in US District Court for the District of Columbia.

“Iran bears direct responsibility for the October 7 attacks. Indeed, that point is essentially undisputed. The Iranian regime has openly flaunted its motive for aiding the horrors,” read the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs called Iran the “sworn enemy of Israel and the United States,” further adding that the regime “masterminded and funded” Hamas’ rampage in an attempt to disrupt the normalization talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The lawsuits appear to be the first legal attempts to hold Tehran accountable for October 7’s attacks which saw at least 1,200 killed, including at least 30 US citizens, and 250 more taken hostage.

It was the single most deadly day for Jews since the Holocaust, with hostages hailing from around 40 nationalities including Thai, Russian, British and German.

Though Iran has officially denied involvement in the massacre, Tehran held celebrations just hours after the atrocities with huge posters around the city, suggesting foreknowledge of the horrors which unfolded after thousands of Hamas militants invaded Israel by air, land and sea.

Leaders as high up as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had met with Hamas leaders at an increasing pace last year suggesting the highest level of coordination with the regime in the attacks which sparked a region-wide escalation.

Iran-backed proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen have pledged solidarity with Hamas after Israel’s relentless retaliation has left devastation in the strip, targeting both US and Israeli targets as well as international shipping in the Red Sea in a bid to force Israel into a ceasefire.

US intelligence has shown that on average, Tehran has funded Hamas $100 million annually in addition to provision of weaponry and training.

The IRGC’s top commander Hossein Salami is one of the many who have denied Iran’s involvement in the attack and claimed that “it was designed and implemented by Palestinians and no decision was made outside of Palestine.”