Expediency Council’s decision on FATF to surely consider Iran’s interests

MNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Mon. that the Expediency Council’s final verdict on accession to the two FATF-related conventions will be surely based on the country’s national interests.

The Iranian foreign minister made the remark while speaking to reporters upon arrival in Qom on Monday.

He noted that the two FATF-related conventions, namely the Palermo Bill (United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime), and CFT (Combating Financing of Terrorism), are still being scrutinized by the Expediency Council. He stressed that the Council’s decision on whether or not to endorse the bills will be surely based on the country’s national interests.

His remarks came as Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaei said the majority of the Council’s members are against joining the UN anti-money laundering watchdog, citing the current US economic sanctions on Iran as the main reason for the opposition.

FATF has given Iran an extended June deadline to complete the reforms necessary for joining the international body.

Elsewhere, Zarif talked about President Rouhani’s recent visit to Iraq, saying a number of agreements that have been left neglected for years, such as dredging Arvand Rud border river, visa waivers, and establishing a railway between Shalamcheh to Basra, were finalized during the visit.

Zarif is in Qom on a one-day visit to hold talks with a number of senior clerics and take part at an administrative council meeting in the city. He told reporters that his visit to Qom does not concern FATF, and it is solely focused on giving a report on the achievements of Rouhani’s visit to Iraq.