NEW YORK — Citing state secrets, the United States has asked a judge to toss out a defamation lawsuit a wealthy Greek shipping magnate brought against a nonprofit organization seeking to thwart Iran’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons.
Victor Restis, a billionaire Greek citizen, sued the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran last year, claiming it was trying to ruin his businesses and reputation by falsely claiming he did business with Iran. On Friday, the U.S. government filed papers in Manhattan federal court to say the head of a federal agency had asserted a formal claim of privilege to information Restis demanded the nonprofit organization turn over.
The government said disclosure of the privileged information could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to national security.
Lawyers did not immediately return messages for comment.
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