The family of Omar Mahmoudzadeh known as Chicho, a US citizen who was killed in an Iranian ballistic missile and drone attack against Kurdish-Iranian parties in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, has sued the Islamic Republic in a US court.
Mahmoudzadeh – along with at least 12 others -- was killed during the Revolutionary Guard’s bombing campaign in late September in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq against the Kurdish-Iranian opposition parties, which Iran accused of fomenting the unrest ignited by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Jina Mahsa Amini in police custody.
The lawsuit, which was filed Monday in the US District Court in Washington DC by Mahmoudzadeh’s wife and daughter, seeks $300 million in punitive and $50 million in compensatory damages “for severe personal injuries and other irreparable harm” suffered as a result of his extrajudicial killing and acts of terrorism by the Islamic Republic and its military arm, the Revolutionary Guards.
The lawsuit is filed under the terrorism exception of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) by plaintiffs’ attorney Ali Herischi of Herischi Human Rights Law Center. The provision in the law allows US victims to sue designated state sponsors of terrorism. The IRGC was labeled a foreign terrorist organization in 2019.
Mahmoudzadeh's lawyer says his death was downplayed by the Biden administration, which condemned the attack at the time, calling it "an unjustified violation of Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity." "Regrettably, US officials remained silent in publicly holding Iran accountable," Herischi told Al-Monitor.
"It appears that the US has chosen to bury that issue," he added.