LONDON (AFP) — The British government failed Wednesday in a bid to overturn a ruling that it must end the "perverse" listing of an Iranian opposition group as a banned terrorist group.
The Court of Appeal in London ruled there were "no valid grounds" to contend that the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission made legal errors when it ordered the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) to be removed from the blacklist.
Three judges, headed by the Lord Chief Justice, Nicholas Phillips, refused interior minister Jacqui Smith permission to appeal against the commission's decision that the PMOI was not "concerned in terrorism".
The PMOI is on the European Union's list of terrorist organisations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze, and has been designated by the US government as a foreign terrorist organisation.
The group welcomed Wednesday's ruling and called to be removed from the EU list of terrorist organisations.
"Europe must now recognise the Iranian resistance for democracy in Iran," said Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which includes the PMOI.
British lawmaker Lord Robin Corbett of Castle Vale, who has supported the PMOI's campaign, told AFP that the United States' listing of the group was a "copycat" measure following the EU move.
"What we now know is that the Iranian resistance is the friend of freedom and those in power in Tehran are the enemies," he said.
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