The lawsuit suggests that the Iranian government played an active role in “masterminding” the Hamas-led October 7 attacks on Israel.
A coalition of U.S. citizens have filed a federal lawsuit against the Islamic Republic of Iran, claiming that its government “masterminded” a Hamas-led massacre of more than 1,200 Israeli civilians on October 7th of last year.
According to NBC News, the 67 plaintiffs include U.S. citizens who were injured or taken hostage during the attack, as well as the family members of those who were killed by Hamas militants.
“Iran bears directly responsibility for the October 7 attacks,” says the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday. “Indeed, that point is essentially undisputed.”
“The Iranian regime,” the complaint alleges, “has openly flaunted its motive for aiding the horrors.”
NBC News notes that, while it is not clear what role—if any—Iran played in coordinating the attacks, the tactics employed by Hamas suggest that the country’s military likely offered training, guidance, or other assistance.
The lawsuit further asserts a widely-circulated, if hitherto uncorroborated, theory: that Iran, “the sworn enemy of Israel and the United States,” manipulated Hamas into sabotaging discussion of diplomatic normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
“As potential Israeli normalization with Saudi Arabia progressed, Iran prepared to reset the regional balance, including by attempting to unite Arab states around the Palestinian cause,” the lawsuit alleges.
Alex Spiro, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said he expects “to prove our case by several means, including affidavits from our clients as well as reports from experts on Iran and terror financing.”
The complaint, adds NBC News, already provides an approximate timeline of events, indicating that—between April and June of 2023—Iranian military officials met repeatedly with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other militant Islamist organizations in Syrai and Iran.
The purpose of these meetings, attorneys say, was to “encourage further acts of terrorism against Isarel.”
By August, the commanders of Iran’s unconventional Quds Force were meeting twice per week in “a Beirut war room” with “Hamas, PIJ, Hezbollah, and other Iranian-backed terror groups.”
Notably, Iran’s foreign minister—Hossein Amirabdollahian—was allegedly present at several of these meetings.
Finally, on October 2nd, Iran purportedly gave the “green light for Hamas, PIJ, and the other Iran-backed groups to launch the pre-planned attack against Israel, using Iranian intelligence, training, and military supplies.”
The subsequent October 7th attack was “an infamous, premeditated, and coordinated massacre in which terrorists murdered 1,200 people and injured nearly 5,000 more in the deadliest killing of Jews since the Holocaust.”
“Iran’s provision of funds, weapons, munitions, training, and intelligence to Hamas and PIJ provided those terror groups with material support and resources used to murder, torture, take hostage, and otherwise injure Plaintiffs, along with Israeli men, women, elderly, teenagers, children, toddlers, infants, and others,” the lawsuit alleges.
Now, the plaintiffs—including the family of Israeli-American Yahonatan Siman-Tov, who died along with his wife and three children after Hamas set fire to their home in Niz Or—are demanding that Iran be found liable for whatever role it may have played in the attack.
“In many places across the world, Iran’s actions have been met with silence,” the lawsuit claims. “But Plaintiffs will not be silent. And the laws of the United States are not silent, either.”