U.S. fined $330 for role in 1980 coup plot in Iran

TEHRAN – An Iranian court has ordered the U.S. government to pay $330 million in compensation for the physical and mental damages caused during a failed coup attempt known as Nojeh in July 1980.

During a hearing on Saturday, the court ruled that the U.S. government must pay $30 million in compensation for financial and mental damages to the plaintiffs, as well as $300 million in punitive compensation. The verdict was issued after a comprehensive review of the case and a thorough examination of the available documents.

The families of those killed and harmed during the plot filed a complaint against the U.S. government and seven other defendants at the 55th branch of the Justice Administration of Tehran for International Affairs.

The lawsuit was submitted to the court in August 2022, against the United States government, the State Department, the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Treasury Department, the Boeing Company, and James Earl Carter Jr. who served as the country’s president at the time.

“The illegal actions of the U.S. government, its officials, agencies, and one of its private companies (Boeing) in military, financial, and political support of the Nojeh coup and blatant violation of international law and territorial integrity of Iran have caused great pain and suffering,” said the lawyer of the families of the victims.

The failed coup, also known as Operation Neqab, was orchestrated by the U.S. to overthrow the newly established Islamic Republic of Iran in July 1980. Following the exposure of the plot, many individuals involved were arrested, and shortly after, Iraq launched an eight-year war against Iran.

The plot was focused on taking over the Nojeh air base in Iran’s sestern Hamedan province and then start killing hundreds of people from there. It allegedly was also meant to prepare the ground for Iraq’s imminent invasion.

"Their plan was to give the appearance of a coup d'etat to restore the Shah, while the real aim was to provide a pretext to cover the Iraqi invasion. According to the information we received, the conspirators had set up a military camp in [the Iraqi city of] Suleimanieh and planned to ignite a Kurdish revolt and organize demonstrations throughout Iran.

Their strategy was simple: internal disorders would first disperse Iranian military forces so that on the very first day of the Iraqi attack Saddam could occupy the whole western part of the country," the then-Iranian president said when the news of the planned coup broke out.

The Nojeh coup resulted in the death of three people and injury of several others. It was carried out through a foreign council composed of several countries led by the U.S. government and an internal council consisting of some political and military officials and individuals of the previous Iranian government, with Shapour Bakhtiar, the former Prime Minister of the deposed Pahlavi regime, and Colonel Mohammad Bagher Bani-Amiri as its commanders.

The coup was directly executed by the U.S. government and the CIA. Some other foreign countries allied to Washington like Iraq and Jordan also helped carry out the operation.

Source: Tehran Times