Iran Resistance: State Ignoring Delisting Order; Delay Said to Appease Tehran

By van der Vaart, Marieke | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 19, 2011 | Go to article overview

Iran Resistance: State Ignoring Delisting Order; Delay Said to Appease Tehran


van der Vaart, Marieke, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Byline: Marieke van der Vaart, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Iranian opposition activists are accusing the State Department of flaunting a federal court's year-old ruling ordering the removal of the Iranian resistance from the U.S. list of international terrorist organizations.

Supporters of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) called on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to comply with the court order, as they rallied outside the State Department last week to mark the anniversary of the ruling.

The State Department says it is still reviewing evidence about the group.

Until the [MEK] are removed from the list, the U.S. policy is appeasing the current Iranian regime, said Mohamad Alafchi, an Iranian-American protester from New York.

The Iranian people see that. That's the only reason they're on the list - to appease the Iranian regime.

The State Department said it most recently received evidence from the MEK legal team in June.

We're currently reviewing this new material, said State Department spokesman Mark Toner. So, no decision has been made.

High-level support for removing the MEK from the terrorist list range from former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from the George W. Bush administration to Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

President Clinton placed the resistance on the terrorist list in 1997 to meet a key demand of the Iranian government when he was trying to open relations with Tehran. Before that, the resistance operated openly in the United States with a Washington office.

The MEK first petitioned to get off the terrorism list in 2009, but the State Department rejected its appeal in early 2010. A year ago on Saturday, the federal court of appeals in Washington overturned that decision, but the MEK has remained on the list ever since.

Resistance members are demanding that Mrs. Clinton either present more evidence to prove the group is engaging or has recently undertaken terrorist activities or drop the accusation entirely. …

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