Rouhani’s government urges approval of FATF-related bills by Expediency Council 

February 26, 2020 - 19:33

TEHRAN - The government of President Hassan Rouhani, in a 9-paragraph statement on Wednesday, urged the Expediency Council to remove the existing barriers in the way of approving the CFT and Palermo bills.

The main topic of the cabinet on Wednesday was to review the decision by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which on Friday put Iran on its blacklist. The decision came after Tehran refused to comply with the watchdog’s all requirements in due time. 
 
Ratifying the FATF-related bills has become a contentious issue in Iran.

The parliament passed the FATF in October 2018. However, the oversight Guardian Council rejected the bill. 

Whenever there is a dispute between the parliament and the Guardian Council on a bill, it will be referred to the Expediency Council for final decision. Now it is up to the Expediency Council to reject or ratify the FATF.

The government’s statement says approval of the bills will prevent the enemies to have more pretexts to put more pressures on the country. 

In the statement, the government has laid emphasis on removal of any obstacle in ratifying the bills, noting that the government will do its best to solve the problem and improve the situation to prevent imposition of more losses on the country’s national interests.  

On Sunday, Rouhani said that Iran had been a forerunner in fighting money laundering and did not deserve to be blacklisted by the FATF.

“The great Iranian people and the Islamic Republic of Iran did not and do not deserve to be placed on an international body’s countermeasures list while it [the country] is forerunner in fighting terrorism and money laundering,” he said during a cabinet meeting at the time.

He added, “We made efforts to prevent being introduced by the United States and the Zionist regime as violator of these measures while we are forerunner in fighting terrorism and money laundering.”

Being blacklisted by the FATF is against the Iranian people’s interests, the president remarked. 

“As it was expected, it made the United States happy and will justify intensification of cruel and inhumane sanctions. Now, those who gave pretext to the United States must be accountable for their unprofessional position,” Rouhani asserted.

One of the actions Iran is required to take to appease the FATF is joining the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), which is also called the Palermo Convention, a 2000 United Nations-sponsored multilateral treaty against transnational organized crime.

The other action is to ratify the CFT, the convention combating financing of terrorism.

The opposition to join the FATF rose after the Trump administration revoked the 2015 nuclear deal in May 2018 and started imposing sanctions on Iran. Since that date, it has slapped multiple rounds of sanctions on Iran.


MJ/PA

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