‘U.S. will impose more sanctions if Iran joins Palermo Convention’

Demonstrators hold sit-in to protest Iran’s moves to join CFT

January 25, 2019 - 19:27

TEHRAN – A number of demonstrators held a sit-in at a mosque in Tehran on Thursday to protest efforts by Iran to join the CFT and the Palermo Convention, saying it will expose Iran to more sanctions by the United States.

The U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and the return of sanctions have made Iranians to lose their trust of international bodies or conventions.
The CFT (the convention combatting financing of terrorism) and Palermo (the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime) are prelude to access the FATF (Financial Action Task Force). 

On January 21, the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) sent the CFT bill, which the Guardian Council says there is still 19 faults with it, to the Expediency Council for final decision.

‘Colonial conventions’

In a statement, the demonstrators urged the Expediency Council not to approve what they called “colonial conventions”.

The statement noted that the economic problems in the country should be resolved through relying on domestic capacities and the youth.

A movement called “No to FATF” has also released a poster calling for avoidance to approve the conventions.

40 economic, political, judicial, international relations experts sent a letter to Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, the new chairman of the Expediency Council, warning of negative consequences of joining to the CFT and Palermo.

The letter said that joining the CFT and Palermo is against “national sovereignty”, lets “foreigners’ interfere in country’s affairs”, lets “the enemies know the country’s financial and banking systems and impose more sanctions in future”, and also “undermines independence of the judiciary system”.

On October 7, 2018, the parliament voted in favor of the CFT. At the time, a total of 143 lawmakers out of 268 ones present in the parliament voted in favor of the bill. However, the oversight Guardian Council rejected the bill by finding 22 faults with it.

Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Chairman Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh told reporters on January 20 that 3 of the faults have been corrected.

To become a law, the Guardian Council should vet the bill for compliance with the Constitution.

According to the constitution, in cases when the parliament and the Guardian Council disagree on a bill the issue is referred to the Expediency Council for final arbitration.

‘U.S. will impose more sanctions if Iran joins Palermo Convention’

Mostafa Mirsalim, a conservative member of the Expediency Council who ran for the 2017 presidential election, has said that the U.S. will impose more sanctions if Iran joins the Palermo Convention.

“The U.S. has sanctioned us and is forcing others to do so. If we join the Palermo Convention, the U.S. will impose more pressure against us,” he told Mehr news agency in an interview published on Friday.

Mirsalim noted that the U.S. will become aware of Iran’s financial mechanisms if it joins the Palermo and will impose more sanctions.

President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. unilaterally from the 2015 nuclear deal in May and ordered sanctions against Iran. The first round of sanctions went into force on August 6 and the second round, which targets Iran’s oil exports and banks, were snapped back on November 4.


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