The Court found Iran was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Iran is therefore liable for the money damages set forth by the October 2012 Order issued at In Re Terrorist Attacks On September 11, 2001, U.S. District Court, SDNY, Index No. 03-MDL-1570. The October Order also applies to Havlish v. bin Laden, U.S. District Court, SDNY, Index No. 03-cv-9848. Pursuant to the October Order, as of March 2, 2015 Iran owed the judgment creditors from Havlish $1,362,277,844 plus interest. These judgment creditors seem to be trying to collect part of this sum from the suspected intermediaries of Iran’s Mahan Air. The suspected intermediaries, (i.e. nominees), include Bahar Safwa General Trading; Ali Abdullah Alhay; and possibly others.
Some of Mahan Air’s suspected nominees may have supplied Wilmington Trust Company of Delaware, with monies earmarked for the purchase of Airbus aircraft. In an effort to attach any such monies, the judgment creditors served their writ of execution on Wilmington Trust Company. In pursuance of their search for Iran’s assets, the judgment creditors also served Wilmington Trust Company with a June 26, 15 subpoena demanding documents about alleged efforts to purchase Airbus aircraft. On July 17th, Wilmington Trust Company objected to the subpoena. In a July 20th answer to the writ of execution, Wilmington Trust Company indicated it did not possess monies subject to the writ. The July 20th answer also asserted that Delaware law codified at 10 Del. C. § 3502(b), prevented the attachment of monies directed by the writ.
Meanwhile, Mahan Air has been the subject of sanction programs since 2011, as it is linked to state-sponsored terrorism by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force & the Hezbollah terrorist group. Under U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) sanctions, Mahan Air was “blocked” from purchasing Airbus aircraft which had engines with U.S-made parts; U.S. persons were prohibited from new financial dealings with Mahan Air; etc. The first 15 minutes of Episode 5 of the SanctionLaw podcast series mentions Mahan Air & the OFAC sanctions. The Podcast features Sam Cutler who is a policy advisor at Ferrari & Associates, PC. It also features Michael Burton, a partner at Jacobson Burton Kelley PLLC. The podcast raises these questions about Mahan Air and its suspected nominees:
- Had Airbus aircraft owned by Mahan Air been leased to or flown by American Airlines, as discussed by the podcast at 2:17; 2:22; 11:40-11:45?
- Were U.S.-based companies reckless in business transactions now thought to be related to Mahan Air, given the apparent red flags discussed by the podcast at 8:30-9:10?