The bill of "Accession of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism", which was proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and approved by the Cabinet in Oct. 2017, was presented to the Parliament today to take its relevant legislative procedures. The closed session was attended by Foreign Minister Zarif, Deputy FM Abbas Araghchi, Minister of Economy Masoud Karbasian, and a number of other deputies at the two ministries.
The parliament has been reviewing three FATF-related bills, including the bill on amendment to the Anti-Money Laundering Law, the bill on amendment to the Law of Combating the Financing of Terrorism, and the bill of "Accession of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism.
Speaking to Mehr News correspondent after the closed session, an MP said Zarif could not convince lawmakers about Iran’s accession to the third bill.
Jabbar Kouchakinejad added that Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), said FATF was not relevant to the accession bill and that Iran has no plans of approving it.
"Shamkhani said FATF has been put off Iran’s agenda, and we have plans to make amendments to our own domestic laws in a bid to facilitate relations with foreing banks,” he said.
Kouchakinejad maintained that Deputy FM Araghchi had a different opinion; "he believed that the FATF issue needs to be resolved in order to continue our talks with Europe,” he added.
Another MP said that Zarif had tried to reassure the lawmakers that adopting the bill on accession to the convention would not cause any problems for Iran’s support to the Resistance groups.
"Lawmakers were not convinced by Zarif’s arguments because they believe that by accession to the convention, the US can file a complaint against Iran at the International Court of Justice for supporting Hezbollah,” he added.
Iranian lawmakers have so far finished reviewing the general outlines and the details of the bill on amendment to the Anti-Money Laundering law. The general outlines of the bill on amendment to the Law of Combating the Financing of Terrorism has been already approved, but the members of the Iranian parliament have not yet started the review on the third bill which discusses Iran’s accession to the International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism.
The MP also quoted Zarif as saying that "the JCPOA is a patient on his deathbed”, and added "Mr. Zarif said Iran has entered talks with the European sides, and they have vowed to safeguard Iran’s interests, but it is not clear yet how long they can resist against US sanctions, because the shareholders of European companies are Americans.”
FATF blacklisted Iran in 2008. Since 2009, the FATF has suspended its most severe penalties, given the country’s efforts to address its deficiencies in combating money laundering. FATF is expected to issue a verdict on international transactions and business relationships involving Iran in June.