US Court of Appeals rules that decision by Secretary of State to maintain the PMOI on the FTO list violated due process and lacked sufficient evidence.

Published July 18th, 2010 - 05:17 GMT

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its judgment today, describing the decision by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in refusing to remove the People's Mojahedin (PMOI) from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), as lacking sufficient evidence, violating the due process and unlawful. It remanded the case to the Secretary of State and instructed her to review her decision according to the procedures specified by the court.

In its judgment, the court said, "[w]e recognize that a strict and immediate application of the principles of law which we have set forth herein could be taken to require a revocation of the designation [] before us[,but]... we also recognize the realities of the foreign policy and national security concerns asserted by the Secretary in support of the designation." We thus... remand with instructions to the Secretary to provide the PMOI the opportunity to review and rebut the unclassified portions of the record on which she relied."

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, said in this regard, while upholding justice and abiding the law made it necessary that this oppressive and unjust designation should have been completely annulled as was decided by judges in the United Kingdom and the European Union, nevertheless, this very judgment and the remand to the Secretary of State demonstrates that the terrorist label against the PMOI, and the insistence to continue it, has been merely a political decision in the framework of appeasing the bloodthirsty mullahs and based on the illusion of changing the behavior of the medieval regime ruling Iran.

The legal and logical conclusion of this judgment requires the Secretary of State to revoke the terrorist designation of the PMOI and remove all its adverse consequences without any delay. This designation has been from the very start an abuse of power and an attempt to assist the Iranian regime's machinery of execution and torture. From this point on, maintaining the PMOI on the list would be a brazen defiance of law and the judgment of the court of appeals.

The Iranian Resistance's President-elect added that in the past decades, the terrorist label on the PMOI has been the most important impediment to change in Iran and the contributed greatly in preserving the religious dictatorship. Despite these obstructions, however, Iran is on the verge of change, which will be realized by the Iranian people and their organized resistance, Mrs. Rajavi said.

During the court proceedings, several members of the House of Representatives, 260 lawmakers from Europe, 100 members of the British Parliament, a number of US military officers who had previously served in Camp Ashraf and 15 Iranian-American communities submitted well-documented amicus briefs to the court, demanding the removal of the PMOI from the FTO list.

In their amicus brief to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, members of the House of Representatives had emphasized, "The national security interests of the United States – the most frequent and compelling justification for judicial deference – by themselves suffice to revoke a designation, but not to commence or maintain a designation. There is no statutory warrant, therefore, for the court to rely on national security considerations to defer to the Secretary's designation decision."

Previously, seven judgments by European courts, including Britain's Court of Appeal, presided over by Lord Chief Justice Phillips, and the Court of First Instance of the European Communities, reviewed thousands of pages of classified and unclassified materials and concluded that the terrorist label against the PMOI had been "perverse" and a "mockery" of rule of law in Europe. Accordingly, they ordered the removal of the PMOI form the UK and EU terrorist lists. 

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