Iran takes initial step to join UNTOC

January 24, 2018 - 20:23

TEHRAN – The Iranian parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of a bill to join the international body against organized crime, formally known as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).

Prior to the ratification, the vice president for parliamentary affairs said that Iran is determined to cooperate closely with other countries in campaign against transnational organized crimes.

Hossein-Ali Amiri said Iran’s membership in the UNTOC is a necessity, Mehr reported.

Amiri stated that Iran is increasingly facing transnational organized crimes because of its geographical location.

He added that the criminal groups that plot against Iran operate outside the country and their main base and shelters and also their financial resources are abroad, “so it is almost impossible to confront them without collaboration with other countries.”

“Our country is determined to engage and cooperate with other countries in the fight against organized crimes, and its membership in the UN convention will enable Iran to cooperate with other countries in the fight against drug trafficking, human trafficking and other kinds of crimes,” the vice president remarked.

Furthermore, the official said, “Of the 193 UN member states, 183 countries, including our neighboring countries have so far joined the convention.”

He went on to say that Iran was among the countries that played an active role in the process of drafting the UN convention.

During the session, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani allayed a lawmaker’s concern about the decision to join the UNTOC, stressing that Iran draws a line between anti-colonialist and terrorist groups.

In his objection, the parliamentarian, Mohammad Javad Abtahi, voiced concern that Iran’s decision to join the UNTOC contradicts the constitutional article rejecting hegemony and forbidding any commitment to hegemonic states, such as the United States.

Larijani said despite the U.S. allegations, Iran maintains that the groups fighting against colonialism, like Hezbollah and Hamas, are not terrorists.

At the end of the session, the Majlis approved the decision with 132 votes in favor, 80 against and 10 abstentions. The ratification must be confirmed by the oversight Guardian Council to become a law.

The UNTOC is a UN-sponsored treaty against transnational organized crime, adopted by a resolution of the UN General Assembly in November 2000.

The convention is open for signature by all UN member states and by regional economic integration organizations, provided that at least one member state of such organization has signed the convention.


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