Bill S-7 Suing Terror Sponsors

Case Studies

Iran – The Fear of Civil Suits

For over two decades, Iran’s involvement in international terrorism has been unmatched by any other state. Unlike some state sponsors of terror that provide peripheral, relatively passive or episodic support to surrogate practitioners of terror, Iran’s involvement is active, direct, and meticulously orchestrated at both the strategic and tactical levels. [1]

One of the regime’s highest profile sponsorships of a terrorist act occurred on November 4, 1979, when 52 U.S. diplomats were taken hostage during a takeover of the American embassy in Tehran. 444 days later, the hostages were released after the signing of the Algiers Accord by the governments of Iran and the United States.

The 1981 Algiers Accord specified in its General Principles and in paragraph 11 that all existing litigation by the United States and its nationals against Iran would be terminated, and future litigation would not be permitted. Iran’s insistence that this agreement specifically preclude any civil litigation arising from the event suggests that Iran considered civil suits to be a significant threat that had to be neutralized in advance of any resolution to the crisis. Civil suits may therefore prove to be an effective deterrence against Iranian terrorist sponsorship, and should be utilized more aggressively against Iran and other countries that sponsor terrorism.


[1] The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)” by Dr. Peter Leitner, Higgins Foundation publication