Iran Fails to Pass FATF Bills Again

By Hamideh Taati

Iran’s Expediency Council has once again failed to decide what to do about the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) bills about increasing transparency to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing, so yesterday they postponed their decision for another two weeks.

During their session, Amoli Larijani, the Council Chair asked if passing these bill to prevent organised crime and terrorism, something necessary if Iran wants to regain membership of FATF or benefit from the EU’s financial mechanism to allow Iran to trade with the rest of the world, went against the Regime’s values.

One of the Council members, Mahmoud Mohammady Araghi, tried to explain why the deal had been postponed, claiming that the Regime couldn’t just change their mind on conventions on a whim, while Parviz Davoodi, deputy to former regime president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, tried to present this as concern for the livelihoods of ordinary Iranians.

Of course, most Iranians are not involved in terrorist financing or money laundering, so it is unclear how it will negatively affect the public.

Another council member, Ahmad Tavakkoli, said that the Regime should not pass the bills because the EU’s financial mechanism “is a condescending formula less than even oil for food” and passing the FATF legislation would be humiliating and contemptible. He also complained about a report by the European Council that expressed “serious concerns about ballistic missiles activities and calls upon the Iranian [regime] to abandon these activities”, while also accusing the Iranian regime of supporting terrorist operations in Europe and calling on the mullahs to respect human rights.

Tavakkoli wrote: “This condescending formula isn’t even ‘oil for food’ that was put in place for Iraq during Saddam’s era. Since European’s don’t buy our oil, they allow us as a mediator to buy food and medicaments whose prices are decided by the monopolizing seller, with the oil money that they’ve allowed us to sell, to rescue us from hunger and illness! This is not the only belittlement. The statement also orders Iran to create a transparent company that will do the exchanges… Isn’t it beneath the dignity of Mr. president! and the honoured ministers! to describe this arrogant and insidious behaviour that violates their commitments as positive? Humiliation and grovelling are not working with Europe.”

Despite all this, Iran has come grovelling to Europe, with Foreign Ministry Bahram Ghassemi calling on Europe to maintain the status quo.

He said: “Practical measures are needed and we expect Europe to launch the special purpose vehicle.”

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