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Ministry of Defense of Iran v. Elahi

Docket No.: 07-615
Certiorari Granted: Jun 23 2008
Argued: January 12, 2009
Decided: April 21, 2009

PartyNames: Ministry of Defense and Support for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran v. Dariush Elahi
Petitioner: Ministry of Defense of Iran
Respondent: Dariush Elahi

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Ministry of Defense of Iran
v.
Dariush Elahi
Question Presented:

Is an attachment against foreign sovereign property permissible when that property is "at issue in claims against the United States before an international tribunal," and that property is not a "blocked asset," pursuant to the terms of the 2000 Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act and the 2002 Terrorism Risk Insurance Act?

Question:

Does the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 allow a judgment creditor in a wrongful death action against the Iranian government to attach damages recovered by Iran in an unrelated contract dispute as the "blocked assets of [a] terrorist party?"

Holding: reversed
Vote: 6-3
Read MINISTRY OF DEFENSE OF IRAN V. ELAHI opinion (PDF)
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