Legislation watchdog rejects FATF amendments to Iran’s CTF law

IFP – The spokesman for Iran’s Guardian Council said the body has rejected the parliament’s legislation amending Iran’s Counter Terrorist Finance law in accordance with standards set by the global anti-money laundering body, Financial Action Task Force.

Speaking in a presser in Tehran on Saturday, Abbasali Kadkhodaei said the council’s members have found the legislation to be in violation of Iran’s Constitution,

According to a report by Tasnim News Agency, Kadkhodaei said the members believe introducing such amendments are not within the area of responsibility of the parliament and they should instead be presented by the Judiciary.

Kadkhodaei also said the Guardian Council has also rejected legislation to join the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime known as Palermo Convention.

The spokesman said the council has found three faults with the legislation, including that it is against Resistance Economy principles and also against security policies of the country.

The two sets of legislation have been sent back to the parliament to be modified, the spokesman said.

If lawmakers do not accept the Guardians Council’s view, the legislation will be sent to the Expediency Council, which is entrusted with acting as an arbiter between the two bodies.

Iran’s implementation of FATF standards has become highly controversial in recent months. Iran has for many years found itself in a blacklist of countries not doing enough to combat money laundering and terrorism financing by the G7-created FATF.

Following the January 2016 implementation of the JCPOA, the FATF suspended countermeasures against the country and entered into talks with the Iranian government that led to an action plan.

Opponents of FATF argue joining the organization makes the country vulnerable to outside meddling and it could hamper Iran’s support for allies such as Hezbollah.

But advocates believe the return of Iran to the FATF’s blacklist will isolate Iran from the global economy and provide support for those who seek to undermine JCPOA.

Moreover, the advocates, including Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, believe that joining the FATF will pose no security threat against the country.

In its last meeting held on June 29, the FATF lamented that “Iran’s action plan has expired with a majority of the action items remaining incomplete” and gave Iran until October to implement necessary reform.

This is while Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei recently suggested that Iran did not have to join international conventions such as FATF when the consequences are not clear.

Speaking on June 20, the Leader said the parliament should pass legislation to combat money laundering according to its own criteria.