FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 1995

FCS (202) 616-2765 TDD (202) 514-1888

FINAL SMALL CLAIMS TO BE PAID FOR IRANIAN REVOLUTION LOSSES WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission has cleared the way for the United States to distribute about $17 million in final interest payments to about 1,000 United States citizens who lost property during the 1979 Iranian revolution, the Department of Justice announced today. The Department of Treasury, which already has paid $42 million to settle claims on the principal, will begin the interest payments in four to six weeks. The effective interest rate is about 3 percent. Commission Chair Delissa Ridgway said the three-member commission, which reviewed approximately 3,100 claims submitted by individuals and corporations through the Department of State, officially closed the Iranian adjudication program February 24. "This closes one more chapter in the history of U.S. relations with Iran following the Islamic revolution," Ridgway said. Ridgway said the commission's case-by-case review involved so-called "small" claims, those valued at $250,000 or less. About 150 claims of more than $250,000 are pending before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, which was established under the Algiers Accords in 1981. Funds for the payment of the claims came from a 1990 settlement agreement between the United States and Iran. Under the agreement, Iran paid the United States government a lump-sum payment of $105 million to settle claims of U.S. citizens and the United States. Some $55 million was allocated to settle government claims and $50 million to settle personal and corporate claims. The $50 million earned approximately $9 million from investments while held in the United States treasury. The commission's awards to individuals and corporations covered claims for both real property and personal property seized by Iran following the 1979 Islamic revolution. The property included such personal items as automobiles, jewelry, clothing, rugs and art objects. In addition, many claims were based on commercial transactions, including contracts for the sale of goods and contracts for the supply of services such as teaching, medical treatment, data processing and shipping. "The Iran claims program has been the most complex program to date because of the extensive business dealings between the U.S. and Iran at that time," said Ridgway. "This is the first program in which commercial transactions comprised a major portion of the claims." The commission, an independent quasi-judicial agency within

the Department of Justice, adjudicates claims of United States citizens against foreign countries for the nationalization or other taking of their property. In recent years, the commission has resolved citizen claims against such countries as Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, Egypt, China, Vietnam and Cuba. ##### 95-117