I have an article at MOSAIC Magazine on President Obama's payment to Iran on January 17, 2016 of $1.7 billion, consisting of $400 million in Iran's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) account with the Pentagon, plus $1.3 billion in interest.
Under legislation enacted in 2000, signed by President Clinton, Iran's FMS account was frozen unless and until Iran resolved court judgments against it for state-sponsored terrorism. One of the cases was Flatow v. Islamic Republic of Iran, summarized as follows in the article:
In April 1995,Alisa Flatow, a twenty-year-old Brandeis University honors student spending her junior year abroad in Israel, boarded a bus in Jerusalem bound for a popular resort area in Gaza. It was the height of the “peace process,” celebrated the year before with Nobel Peace prizes. As the bus entered Gaza, a van filled with explosives slammed into it. Eight people, including Alisa, were killed, and more than 40 others were injured. The attack was carried out by a faction of Islamic Jihad controlled, financed, and directed by the highest levels of Iran’s government.
Alisa’s father, Stephen M. Flatow, filed suit in U.S. federal court against Iran, pursuant to legislation Congress had enacted permitting such suits against state sponsors of terrorist attacks on American citizens. A federal district court issued a 35-page opinion, Flatow v. Islamic Republic of Iran (1998), awarding a total of $20 million in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages, with both types of damages specifically authorized by the U.S. Congress. The court noted that expert testimony had “detailed an annual expenditure [by Iran] of approximately $75 million for terrorist activities” and that Iran “is so brazen in its sponsorship of terrorist activities that it carries a line item in its national budget for this purpose.” Accordingly, the court awarded punitive damages of $225 million—three times Iran’s publicly-disclosed annual terrorist budget. It was the minimum amount the expert had testified was necessary to have a significant deterrent effect, which was what Congress had intended to achieve in its authorizing legislation.
Iran ended up not paying a cent of the judgment, but got its $400 million plus interest anyway on January 17, 2016. More here.