Insider news & Analysis in Iran
Iran's Expediency Council Undecided About FATF Bills

By INU Staff

INU - Ahmad Tavakoli, member of Iran’s Expediency Council, warned about imminent "strategic political and security threats.”

In an interview with the state-run Tasnim news agency, Tavakoli described the people’s living conditions as “deplorable” and said issues such as “inflationary recession with high rate of unemployment and low and undulate national growth rate” have intensified this dangerous atmosphere.

“The luxury and patrician life of some authorities, creation and spread of corruption, uneven share of wealth and income, poverty and unemployment have caused people not to trust the government,” Tavakoli added.

While disagreeing with President Hassan Rouhani who called for the approval of the FATF laws by the Expediency Council, Tavakoli said once approved, “the countries who view relations with Iran as low risk and continue to have banking and trade relations with us despite the U.S pressure won’t be able to cooperate any further."

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the international body that sets financial rules to protect the international banking system against fraud and funding of terrorism. The FATF has demanded Tehran to pass a series of laws that would make its financial system more transparent and open to oversight. The issue of passing FATF bills into law has been an issue of high controversy among Iranian officials.

Tavakoli said that "few countries" are cooperating with Iran, but if Tehran approves the FATF bills into law, "banking transactions with Iran will become proscribed by law, which means whatever channels we currently have will become even narrower."

Yet the Iranian government’s authorities say that if the FATF be approved the banking cooperation with Iran will be easier.

Previously, while criticizing the non-approval of the FATF, Rouhani had said: “If tomorrow our banking face problems in dealing with the world, people shouldn't say the government was incapable”

Yet Tavakoli insisted that the main reason of Iran’s economy downfall, is domestic and Rouhani is incriminating others.

The Majlis (parliament), approved the CFT and Palermo bills, two requirements of FATF. But the Guardian Council, the unelected body that oversees the conformance of parliament measures with the regime's "Sharia" laws, has rejected the bills. The fate of the bills is now in the hands of the Expediency Council, which is tasked with resolving disputes between the Majlis and the Guardian Council.

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