Iranian minister of foreign affairs said as is the case in other parts of the world, money-laundering activities are conducted in Iran.
Addressing reporters on Sunday, Mohammad Javad Zarif added, “I, as a person who has always defended the Islamic Republic establishment, say that, like anywhere else in the world, money-laundering exists in Iran,” IRNA reported.
He made the remarks after attending a meeting of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee in defense of his earlier statements about the existence of money laundering in the country.
He expressed hope that the government would root out money laundering in the country following the enactment of the bills it has submitted to the Iranian Parliament to this end.
To meet standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) the Iranian government submitted four bills to the Parliament.
The financing of terrorism (CFT) is one of the bills which was approved at the Parliament by 143 votes to 120 on October 7, but to become law had to be approved by the Guardian Council as well.
Its proponents had said the measure would smooth the path for Iran’s increased financial transactions with the rest of the world and help remove the country from investment blacklists.
Opponents, however, say membership in the FATF will only make the country vulnerable to outside meddling.
The Paris-based FATF had issued an October deadline for Iran to implement its standards in order to remove Tehran from investment blacklists.
Zarif said MPs asked him a wide spectrum of questions ranging from the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s economic activities to the country’s relations with neighbors and the ministry’s appointment of ambassadors to other states.
Describing as useful questions raised by the lawmakers, he noted that a number of them pertained to money-laundering “and I announced that my remarks on this issue is completely clear” and that some parts were [later] added to his statements by other individuals.
Zarif said the fact that money-laundering activities are conducted in Iran does not mean that “we are” accomplices.
“What’s important is to fight money laundering.”
He added money laundering is done in Iran by certain drug smuggling cartels and corrupt people.
“In addition, people who commit tax evasion are also conducting money laundering activities.”
Earlier, a number of Iranian lawmakers put forward a proposal to impeach Zarif, in reaction to his remarks about the existence of money-laundering in the country.