November 22, 2017

US Courts

 

Timeline: Legal Challenges to MEK’s FTO Designation in US

 

Oct. 1997 U.S. Department of State includes the MEK in the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. A senior Clinton Administration official told the Los Angeles Times on October 8, 1997, that the decision was a “goodwill gesture to the newly-elect moderate President Mohammad Khatami.”

 

1997-1998 The MEK files petition with the Court of Appeals of theDistrict of Columbia.

 

Oct. 1999 State Department re-designates the MEK in the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations and adds the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) to the list as an “alias” of the MEK. Martin Indyk, the then Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, tells Reuters that the NCRI was added to the list because “the Iranian regime drew our attention to it.”

 

1999 The MEK files petition, as does the NCRI with the Court of Appeals of theDistrict of Columbia.

 

June 2001 The Court rules that the constitutional rights of the NCRI are violated and since it is the alias of the MEK, the same applies to the MEK. It says the MEK’s right to a fair hearing has been violated.

 

Oct. 2001 The Secretary of State re-designates the MEK and the NCRI in the FTO list.

 

Aug. 2003 The Secretary of State issues an Executive Order to designate the NCRI’s US Representative Office which until then was considered by the administration and the court a separate entity from MEK and NCRI.

 

Oct. 2003 The Secretary of State re-designates the MEK and the NCRI in the FTO list.

 

July 2008 The MEK files petition with the Secretary of State for revocation.

 

Jan. 2009 The State Department maintains the MEK on the FTOlist which prompts the MEK to file a petition with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals for revocation.

 

July 2010 U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rules unanimously that the Secretary of State had erred in refusing to grant a petition by the MEK to have its terrorist status revoked, strongly suggesting that the Department should remove the group from the FTO list.

 

July 15, 2011 A year later, the State Department has yet to announce its decision on the MEK’s status, ignoring the statute-mandated 180-day deadline.