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July 28, 2014

Justice Dept. Seeks to Shield Anti-Iran Nonprofit's Files

The Obama administration has gone to court to prevent disclosure of files from an influential advocacy group that takes a hard-line stance on hobbling Iran's nuclear program, The New York Times writes.

The Justice Department temporarily blocked United Against Nuclear Iran from having to identify donors and reveal other internal records in connection with a defamation case. Victor Restis, a Greek shipping tycoon, sued the nonprofit after it accused him of doing business with Iran in violation of international sanctions.

Government lawyers said they had reason to believe that, if made public, information in United Against Nuclear Iran's files could compromise law-enforcement investigations or confidential sources. The group's advisers include several prominent former government officials and ex-intelligence chiefs from Israel, Germany, and Britain.

A federal judge has thus far allowed the block to remain in force. The government has until Thursday to say whether it will formally seek to keep the information secret permanently.