Iran will keep working on plans to implement standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said, stressing that Tehran’s interests are being considered in this course.
“There have been a lot of talks on FATF in recent weeks. This issue is definitely in line with Iran’s interests and its foreign economic policy, and has many advantages,” Qassemi said at a weekly press conference on Monday.
By taking into consideration its laws and frameworks, the Islamic Republic will keep moving on this path, which is highly beneficial, he said of the FATF ratification process.
Hinting at US hostilities against Iran, the spokesman expressed hope that FATF and other international organizations would make decisions without foreign influence.
He said the US has become exasperated after its recent failure to mobilize the UN Security Council participants against Iran and the recent International Court of Justice’s ruling in favor of Tehran.
Washington is trying to make up for its isolation, Qassemi stated, describing the US as the “loser of the game”.
Last week, the Iranian Parliament approved a bill on the country’s accession to Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) treaty – a series of standards set by the FATF.
FATF rules still need to be endorsed by Iran’s Guardian Council to be implemented.
'Treaty of Amity'
Qassemi confirmed the receipt by Iran of a "written note" from the US about America's withdrawal from the "Treaty of Amity," signed between the two countries in 1955.
The US said it would be pulling out of the treaty after it was handed a defeat at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case filed by Iran that had invoked the treaty.
Iran has filed another lawsuit against the US at the same court but over a different matter. The Islamic Republic has invoked that same treaty in its new complaint.
Qassemi said that despite a declaration of withdrawal, the pullout from the "Treaty of Amity" would take at least a year to take effect.
The Iranian spokesman was asked in the presser whether relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran could be restored, given that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently tweeted about Iran's readiness to cooperate with Riyadh despite the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries, according to IRNA.
Qassemi said Iran's stance is clear on the matter and has been repeatedly expressed before.
"In case [the right] conditions are created in the region, cooperation between regional countries can definitely have considerable impact on the peace, stability, and security of the region," he said.
Foreign Minister Zarif has reaffirmed that principled stance, he said.
Saudi Arabia has shown open hostility toward Iran in recent years. It severed its diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016, shortly after it executed prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr and when small groups of Iranians attacked Saudi diplomatic perimeters in Tehran and Mashhad – both of them vacant at the time of the attacks – in protest at the execution.
Zarif's tweet came after US President Donald Trump said Saudi rulers may not last "for two weeks" without Washington's support.
On the construction of Syria, Qassemi said that Iran plans to have its private sector participate in the reconstruction of postwar Syria.
He said Iran has had a strong presence in the fight against terrorism in Syria based on the Syrian government's request and will be present in reconstructing the Arab country as well.
"Iran's plan is for the private sector and commercial, industrial, and technological enterprises to have a presence in Syria," Qassemi said. "We hope conditions would be created as soon as possible for work to begin and for the [Iranian private] sector, too, to be able to serve the people of Syria."
Syria has been fighting terrorists since 2011. But the Syrian government, with advisory military help from its allies Iran and Russia, has taken back control of much of the country since then, and the conflict is generally believed to be winding down. Countries are already planning to help reconstruct war-hit Syria.
US presence in Syria
The spokesman was also asked about the US military presence in Syria.
He said that that presence is "unlawful and in contravention of international regulations" because America has deployed its forces to Syrian territory without the government's permission.
"Our advice is that America had better exit Syria at the earliest time and refrain from interfering in the [internal] affairs of the country," he added.
The US started an aerial campaign against what it said were the positions of the Daesh terrorist group in Syria in September 2014. It has had Special Forces on the ground there as well. Both of those activities have lacked the Syrian government’s permission.
Qassemi said that, given the US reputation as an expansionist country, it will act to create instability and insecurity in Syria and to prop up the terrorists who have largely been defeated there.
IRNA, Press TV and Tasnim News Agency contributed to this story.