- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Embassy Row: Court backs Iranians
Question of the Day
The Iranian resistance won another victory in a U.S. federal court this week, when a three-judge panel ruled the group has a right to a speedy hearing on its petition to be removed from the U.S. terrorist list - after nearly two years of delay by the State Department.
The judges gave the federal government until March 26 to respond to the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), which was added to the list by President Bill Clinton when he was trying to open talks with the theocratic Iranian regime in 1997.
“It’s certainly a favorable development,” said Ali Safavi, president of Near East Policy Research in Northern Virginia and a supporter of the PMOI.
Mr. Safavi said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recognized that 3,300 members and supporters of the PMOI face a life-threatening situation in Camp Ashraf in Iraq, where they have been based since the 1980s.
The Iraqi government has ordered the Iranians expelled from the country by the end of April, but no other nation will accept them as refugees because the PMOI is on the U.S. terror list. Iraqi security forces have attacked the unarmed camp residents twice, killing 11 in July 2009 and 34 in April 2011.
The Justice Department, representing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, argued that the court should deny the PMOI’s request for a writ of mandamus, a legal maneuver that asks a court to enforce an earlier order.
In 2010, the court ruled that the State Department had violated the PMOI’s constitutional right to due process two years earlier when then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice refused a request from the group to be removed from the list.
The court gave the Obama administration 180 days to review the status of the PMOI, which renounced its armed struggle against Iran in 2003, when U.S. forces disarmed the rebels after the invasion of Iraq.
Nearly two years later, the government is still arguing it needs more time to consider whether the resistance meets the standards to remain listed as a terrorist group.
Justice Department attorney Douglas N. Letter, in his response to the PMOI case, said the State Department must review “highly classified information, expert analyses of the material in the administration record, delicate foreign relations concerns and complex national security determinations.”
He argued that a decision on the PMOI’s status would have to be made by high-level officials at the State, Treasury and Justice departments.
“While the secretary [of state] dithers on PMOI’s request to revoke its [terrorist] designation, Ashraf residents face a continuing threat of deadly violence from Iraqi forces, and other countries are reluctant to accept them for resettlement as long as PMOI remains on the list,” Mr. Dinh said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Embassy Row: India 'shocked,' 'appalled' by consular officer's arrest
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Senate debate: Is Santa Claus an American citizen?
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world