Judge Awards $45 Million Over 1983 Beirut Bombing

March 29, 2012 Updated: April 1, 2012

A U.S. federal judge awarded nearly $45 million from Iran to victims of the 1983 truck suicide bomb attack in Beirut, according to media reports.

The suicide bomb attack targeted marines stationed there, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said, reported The Associated Press. The money would go to the two injured service members and their families.

The 1983 attack killed 241 servicemen, taking place during the Lebanese civil war. The two marines were previously awarded $6.7 million over the bombing. 

Lamberth said her court “applauds plaintiffs’ persistent efforts to hold Iran accountable for its cowardly support of terrorism,” according to the news agency, which noted that the money will likely be difficult to actually collect from the Islamic Republic.

Joseph Drennan, the lawyer for the two plaintiffs, said, according to AP, that the money will be collected from blocked Iranian assets in the United States.

There have been conflicting reports that the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, was responsible for the attack, but the blame has since been placed on Iran. Tehran has denied any involvement in the attack.

According to a court order obtained by CBS, the truck bomb created a “resulting explosion” that “was the largest nonnuclear explosion that had ever been detonated on the face of the Earth.”

It said the blast was equal to around 15,000 to 20,000 pounds of TNT and leveled a nearby building where the service members were located.

“The force of its impact ripped locked doors from their doorjambs at the nearest building, which was 256 feet away,” reads the court order.