The families of slain Iranian nuclear scientists have reportedly launched a lawsuit against the U.S. demanding $100 million in compensation related to assassinations they believe are linked to America.
The campaign was spurred by the assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on a country road near Tehran in November. Iranian officials have blamed Israel for the killing and suggested the U.S. may have supported, or at least known, about the operation.
Fakhrizadeh was widely considered the father of Iran’s nuclear program and headed the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research—known by its Farsi acronym, SPND—which is responsible for nuclear research for military applications, plus work-related to Iran’s ballistic missile technology.
The official Fars News Agency reported Wednesday that 15 lawyers and attorneys are working on the case. They are led by Somayyeh Afzali Nikoo, who said the case was opened and registered at a Tehran court on Sunday.
Afzali Nikoo did not name individuals included in the action, which without any international jurisdiction will amount to nothing more than a symbolic rebuke of the U.S. and Israel.
“On the way to impede the improvement of our scientists, these assassinations cause terror among the nation. These assassinations are planned and targeted actions that affect a wide range of people around the world.”
The case is being brought against Israel, the U.S. government, and multiple U.S. presidents. Also involved are unnamed American officials, including within the State Department and the Treasury.
Fakhrizadeh is the latest Iranian nuclear scientist to be assassinated inside the country.
Such operations were more common before the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015, which placed curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Before that, the U.S. and Israel conducted more covert efforts against Iranian nuclear targets and the scientists involved in related research.
This included assassinations, reportedly primarily conducted by the Mossad Israeli secret service with U.S. knowledge, allegedly with the help of opposition Iranian groups including the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, or MEK.