1102 GMT December 19, 2018
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said efforts are required by “all of us to reduce corruption and prevent money laundering.”
He added that having different attitudes toward an issue is not a bad thing, urging experts to discuss such specialized issues.
Rouhani made the remarks at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, IRNA reported.
“We are a revolutionary community and are living together in a great country like Iran. We are a large family with a population of 80 million. It is quite normal [for a family with such a large population] to have some problems. We should be proud that we are fighting corruption step-by-step.”
He stressed that experts should discuss specialized legal, religious, social and economic issues.
The Iranian president noted that the entire world is struggling with money laundering, daring everybody to show him if there is a country in the world where there is no money laundering, corruption, illegal drug abuse, smuggling and fake products.
Some issues are very clear, said Rouhani. “Why do we fight over clear issues?”
“We have to fight drugs, but we have addicts. We have to fight theft, but we have thieves. We have to fight corruption but we have, although constituting a minority, corrupt people. We have bribery and we should not get mad about it being [explicitly] expressed,” he said.
Rouhani noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the leader of the fight against terrorism, adding, the largest number of the victims of aggression, terrorism and use of weapons of mass destruction belongs to Iran.
He said Iran is the greatest advocate of the fight against weapons of mass destruction, as it is a victim of such weapons.
Rouhani added that Iran is the staunchest advocate of the fight against terrorism: “Today, to prevent terrorists from using different financial systems for transferring money, we should be, and in fact we are, the greatest advocate [of the fight against this].”
Lauding the hard work and sacrifices made by Iran’s police, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and voluntary Basij forces protecting the country’s western and eastern borders, the president said, “Unfortunately, there are narcotics in our country and we must fight it. Where there are narcotics, there is dirty money. Where does this dirty money go? This means that the money is being laundered somewhere, perhaps in Afghanistan, Turkey or Europe.”
Rouhani’s comments on the need to fight money laundering came as, earlier, on November 11, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif said those who profit billions of dollars from money laundering are spending millions to prevent the passage of the bills requiring more financial transparency.
An international transparency watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has demanded that Iran should adhere to anti-money-laundering standards and enact laws to prevent financing of terrorism.
The comments by Zarif triggered a wave of enraged responses from a number of conservative Iranian lawmakers who have started a move to impeach the foreign minister.