Updated 4:38 p.m.
A dissident Iranian group is expected to be no longer classified as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
The agency notified Congress of the change in classification today, one week before it is expected to be published in the Federal Register.
The State Department has been reviewing the status of the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) since a federal appeals court in Washington ordered the agency to do so in July 2010.
The news was first reported today by CNN.
The announcement comes a little more than a week before an October 1 deadline imposed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which had admonished the State Department for failing to act on the group's petition for reclassification.
Fox Rothschild partner Steven Schneebaum has been representing MEK for almost nine years. In an interview, Schneebaum said that he had not been informed by the State Department about his client's status. He has argued that the organization lack the means and intent to engage in terrorist activity which is a requirement to be on the list.
Assuming the organization is delisted, it will mean that it can operate like any other political organization and do things like open an office, solicit funds and hire employees, among other things.
"It will be able to operate like the political opposition movement that it is," Schneebaum said. "There is no guarantee that they can persuade anyone. All they've asked for is an opportunity to do so."
Bancroft founding partner Viet Dinh, who also represents the MEK, said that he was pleased with the State Department's decision. "We are obviously very gratified of the recent developments and information," founding Bancroft partner Viet Dinh said. "We look forward to moving forward to serve the best interests of our client."
Schneebaum echoed Dnih's sentiments.
"Somebody finally listened, so we're very pleased," Schneebaum said. "That 15 and a half year injustice now appears to be a week and a half from being terminated."
A State Department spokeswoman couldn't be reached for comment.