Iran General NewsUK court denies government appeal vs end to Iran...

UK court denies government appeal vs end to Iran opposition group ban

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Dow Jones: A U.K. court Friday refused the government’s appeal against the court’s order to the home secretary to lift a six-year ban on an Iranian opposition group, taking the group one step closer to official legitimacy in the U.K., a lawyer assisting the legal team said. Dow Jones Newswires

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- A U.K. court Friday refused the government’s appeal against the court’s order to the home secretary to lift a six-year ban on an Iranian opposition group, taking the group one step closer to official legitimacy in the U.K., a lawyer assisting the legal team said.

It’s an important victory for the Iranian opposition, which is currently fighting a similar ban on the Peoples Mujahedeen Organization of Iran in the U.S. and the European Union.

“They (the court) have refused the application made by the home secretary to get permission to appeal,” Masoud Zabeti, who is also the chairman of the committee of Anglo-Iranian lawyers, told Dow Jones Newswires.

“It’s very significant because they didn’t even allow a hearing to take place on the basis that the law says that there must be reasonable grounds for success,” he added.

At the end of November, the U.K.’s Proscribed Organization Appeal Commission ordered the U.K.’s home secretary to lift a ban on the PMOI, which is part of a broader coalition group that forms the main opposition to the current regime in Tehran.

The PMOI campaigns for regime change in Tehran and a secular democracy based on respect for human rights.

But in 2001 the U.K. government put the PMOI on the proscribed organization list, that includes al-Qaida and the Kurdish PKK, citing the group’s involvement in violence in Iran following the country’s Islamic Revolution.

However, the U.K. court found that the PMOI, which renounced the use of force years ago, had not conducted any military activity since 2001.

The U.K. government has one last channel for appeal – it can make an application to the U.K. court of appeals, but the strong judgment from the commission in November makes that step less likely, Zabeti said.

-By Selina Williams, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 207 842 9262, [email protected] dowjones.com

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