U.S. top court forbids seizure of ancient Persian artifacts

FILE PHOTO: Police officers stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC, U.S., January 19, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo

Thomson Reuters

By Andrew Chung

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Americans injured in a 1997 suicide bombing in Jerusalem cannot seize ancient Persian artifacts from a Chicago museum to satisfy a $71.5 million court judgment against Iran, which they had accused of complicity in the attack.

The justices, in an 8-0 ruling, upheld a lower court decision in favor of Iran that had prevented the plaintiffs from collecting on the judgment, which Tehran has not paid, by obtaining antiquities held at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. The important Persian cultural artifacts, on loan to the museum since the 1930s, include clay tablets boasting some of the oldest writing in the world.

Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the decision.

(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)

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