TEHRAN (Basirat) :Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council Mohsen Rezayee underlined that the Europeans have not implemented their undertakings under the 2015 nuclear deal, saying that the INSTEX (Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges) mechanism is not enough.
"We are not satisfied with the Europeans' behavior at present," Rezayee told
reporters in a press conference in Tehran on Saturday.
He added that their approval of INSTEX mechanism does not mean that they have
adopted sufficient measures to implement their nuclear deal undertakings.
Rezayee is the secretary of the Expediency Council which is the last
high-ranking Iranian body to decide the fate of the FATF that has been
considered by the European countries as a pretext for implementation of the
In a news meeting in Bucharest last month, German, British and French foreign
ministers officially announced the commissioning of the European special
financial mechanism known as INSTEX.
Iran has rejected conditioning the INSTEX on the approval of FATF requirements,
saying that it is among the undertakings Europe had accepted under the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the EU is required to hold up its end
of the bargain without asking for more moves and undertakings by Iran.
Iran has been required to fulfill dozens of FATF recommendations to enhance its
status from a blacklist of non-cooperative countries, while the country is under
US sanctions. The country's status in FATF has no impact on toughening or easing
the US sanctions.
FATF has required Iran to implement a number of moves that include endorsement
of several conventions.
Palermo bill is one of the four government bills seeking to bring Iran's
anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing standards into line
with those defined by the FATF.
The parliament has approved all the measures but except for the bill that
updates Iran's domestic law on countering financing of terrorism. All the rest
have been rejected by the Guardian Council – a watchdog that ensures laws are in
line with the Constitution and Sharia.
The bills on Iran’s accession to the Palermo Convention and the CFT were
rejected by the Guardian Council in early November due to some flaws that
violated the country’s Constitution. The bills were then amended by the Iranian
Parliament, waiting for the next steps in the Guardian Council.
To fulfill FATF requirements, President Hassan Rouhani’s administration has
proposed four bills to the parliament for approval, two of which are still
undecided, including the Palermo Convention. They have been referred to the
Expediency Council for final approval.
Yet, Iran has recently approved a national anti-money laundering (AML), which
was a domestically-developed bill.
In its February meeting, the FATF decided to extend the deadline for Iran until
June to complete reforms under the specified action plan that includes a list of
9 major moves, including the opening of its financial transactions data bank to
the FATF that is headed by the US Department of the Treasury’s Assistant
Secretary heading the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes
The Political-Defense-Security and Legal-Judicial Commissions of the Expediency
Council declared in January that endorsement of the Palermo bill would run
against the country's interests.
In relevant remarks on January 26, Rezayee announced that the EC's specialized
commissions have rejected the country's endorsement of the Palermo bill, adding
that the final decision would be made in the Council's next meeting.
Speaking to reporters after an Expediency Council meeting on Palermo convention
here in Tehran, Rezayee said that the EC's specialized commissions have
concluded that harms and losses of Iran's endorsement of the convention would
overpass its merits.
"It is a reality but the EC will have the final decision in this regard," he
Asked if Iran is entitled to set preconditions to join Palermo and the blur
conditions surrounding this issue, Rezayee said, "Of course, there are much more
ambiguities too and it was decided that the pros and cons study them in the next
It was the second week in a row that the EC deferred the decision on the bill
for further studies.
In its last session today, the EC postponed a final decision on the endorsement
of Palermo to the next Iranian year (to start on March 21).