Failure to join FATF would benefit enemies: ex-ambassador

December 22, 2019 - 19:32

TEHRAN - Ali Majedi, Iran’s former ambassador to Germany, has said that a failure to join the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will limit Iran’s economic interaction and this is what the enemies want.

“Failure to join the FATF or any other international agreement and group will increase limitations on our country’s economy and is somehow in line with what the enemies seek,” he told ISNA in an interview published on Sunday.

He noted that refusing to join the FATF will isolate the country.

“I believe, under the current situation, we should join the FATF, otherwise, countries such as Turkey and China will not continue economic interaction with Iran,” he said. 

In October 2018, the parliament voted to join the FATF. However, the Guardian Council rejected it. Now the ball is in the Expediency Council’s court. 
When there is a dispute between parliament and the Guardian Council the issue is referred to the Expediency Council for final arbitration.

MP Seyed Abolfazl Mousavi also told ISNA on Sunday that both parliament and administration favor joining the FATA and now the Expediency Council should decide about it by assessing the country’s “expediency”.

“Now the Expediency Council, by assessing the country’s expediency, should make decision in this regard and accept the consequences of its decision,” Mousavi pointed out.|

In an interview with ISNA published on Wednesday, Ali Ebrahimi, a member of the Hope parliamentary faction, said that a failure to join the FATF will limit Iran’s economic interaction with the outside world.

He said that intensification of pressure against the country will do no good.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has said that joining the FATF will serve the country’s interests.

“Our friendly countries have announced that they will not be able to work with the Iranian banks if Iran refuses to join the FATF and it will not be beneficial for us,” Mousavi said, the Hamshahri newspaper reported on Tuesday. 

In an interview with ISNA published on Tuesday, political analyst Mehdi Motaharnia said if Iran refuses to join the FATF, an international consensus would be formed against it.

“Currently, North Korea has been blacklisted and Iran will be the second country if it is also blacklisted. If so, the first consequence will be an international consensus against Iran in the area of economic activities,” he said.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on December 16 that the Expediency Council takes the final decision on the FATF, expressing hope its decision would be in line with the country’s “expediency”.

Majid Ansari, a member of the Expediency Council, told IRNA on December 16 that the council is still studying the CFT and the Palermo bill.

He declined to comment about whether the two bills would be finally rejected or approved by the council.

The Expediency Council issued a statement on Saturday announcing that the two FATF-related bills of Palermo and CFT have not yet received green light, saying that the bills are under accurate assessment.