A federal judge in Washington is ordering Iran to pay $12 million for the emotional distress incurred by the wife of a prominent Iranian dissident assassinated in France in an operation investigators there blamed on the Iranian government. Judge Henry Kennedy ordered the award in a lawsuit brought by Shahintaj Bakhtiar, who was married to Chapour Bakhtiar when he was stabbed to death and mutilated at his Paris home in 1991. Bakhtiar was a longtime critic of the Shah’s regime who briefly served as Iran’s prime minister. American courts have awarded at least $8.6 billion in default judgments against Iran for terrorist acts carried out by groups it sponsors, such as Hamas, Hizbullah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The awards are rarely collected, because Iran has few assets in America.