FATF-related bills still on Expediency Council’s agenda: Zonnour

MNA – Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s security commission said the evaluation of the two remaining FATF-related bills, namely the Palermo and CFT, has not been pushed off agenda of the Expediency Council.

Speaking to Tasnim on Saturday, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’ National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Mojtaba Zonnour, said the Palermo and CFT bills are still being examined at the Expediency Council, the body in charge of casting the final verdict on the endorsement or rejection of the two remaining FATF-related bills.

Stressing that the deadline for reviewing the bills at the Expediency Council was not over yet, Zonnour maintained that on behalf of the Parliament, he is present at the sessions held by the Council on examining the bills.

Asked about the possibility of the endorsement of the bills by the Council, he said “I cannot say whether the bills would be rejected or approved. A specialized working group comprising experts from the Expediency Council, the Parliament, and the government are still evaluating the bills.”

“The working group, after reaching a conclusion on Palermo and CFT, will present its expert opinion at the Council and the members will then decide about it,” he added.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money laundering body, has given Iran a final deadline of February 2020 to implement a set of four bills to meet the standards set by the watchdog.

Last October, Iran’s Parliament passed the four bills, but only two of them have so far gone into effect.

The Expediency Council is in charge of deciding the fate of the two other bills, namely one on Iran’s accession to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, commonly known in Iran as ‘Palermo’, and the other one a bill amending Iran’s Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) law.

Those against the endorsement of the FATF-related bills say the move would impose further restrictions on Iran’s economic relations while the country is under US severe sanctions.

“It is not in the country’s best interest to make its dealings transparent to institutions such as FATF,” Mesbahi Moghadam, a member of the Expediency Council had said.