Iran group wins legal battle against US

Appeals court orders reconsideration of 'terrorist group' label.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 17, 2010 00:28
1 minute read.
CLAUDE STERN, a US trial lawyer, teaches his Israe

us lawyer 311. (photo credit: Yissachar Ruas)

 
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Iranian opposition group the People's Mujahedeen of Iran won a round Friday in its long legal case to get the US State Department to declassify it as a terrorist group.

A federal appeals court ordered the State Department to reconsider its decision. The 'terrorist group' designation prohibits groups from raising money and obtaining other support in the United States.

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The court said the US government must give the Iraq-based group a chance to respond to claims that it continues to engage in terrorist activity or at least retains the capability and intent to do so. The government also maintains a file of secret information that it says supports the continuing terrorist designation. Friday's ruling did not address the classified material.

The People's Mujahedeen has argued that it stopped military operations against the Iranian regime and renounced violence in 2001, and handed over its weapons to US-led forces after the ouster of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003.

The European Union dropped the People's Mujahedeen from its list of banned terrorist groups last year.

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