0949 GMT April 01, 2020
A lawmaker said Iran’s refusal to pass the anti-money laundering laws demanded by the international community would be tantamount to “falling into a trap set by the enemy.”
“At a time that our enemies are trying to lay a trap (to harm Iran’s interests), we should be vigilant not to fall into such traps,” Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, the chairman of Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said, IRNA reported.
Iran has been trying to implement standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization that underpins the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
Iran’s Parliament has passed the bills required by FATF, but the Guardian Council, which must review all legislation, refused to put its seal of approval and the law was referred to the Expediency Council, which constitutionally is the arbiter between Parliament and the Guardian Council.
The approval of one of the bills, namely Combatting Financing Terrorism (CFT), has been the main bone of contention.
Some Iranian politicians have opposed the bill because it could restrict Iranian financial support for allies.
Falahatpisheh said joining CFT is crucial for the country’s banking relations, warning that the refusal of the bill would lead to the “locking of our banking system.”
He added that Iran’s concerns about joining CFT could be easily allayed by placing reservations to the bill, something he said many countries have done as well.
“Over 70 countries have placed reservations for joining CFT, we can do the same,” he said.
Echoing that view, lawmaker Ardeshir Nourian, a member Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said, “Iran’s healthy economic relations with the world” hinge on approving the CFT.
“If we are to have foreign trades and transactions with the world, we should pass CFT.”
Describing Iran as one the top 20 countries in the world economy, Falahatpisheh said Iran’s goal is to “defuse tensions” and “to have interaction with the world.”
He pointed to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as an example of Tehran’s good intentions to interact with the world and slammed US President Donald Trump for his abandoning of the historic agreement.
“Trump violated the nuclear deal,” he said, underlining that Iran does not plan to go to the extremes in the long run.
“We should act based on our national interests and consider the impact of our decisions on people,” he concluded.