Iran Regime Divided Over a Bill to Combat Terrorism

By Staff Writer

The Iranian Regime has reached a turning point in its internal quarrels about approving a bill to combat the financing of terrorism and pass it into law, according to Ahmad Tavakoli, a member of the Expediency Council with close ties to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s faction.

The Combatting Terrorist Financing (CFT) bill, one of many guidelines approved by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to maintain the integrity and transparency of financial institutions, was previously described as treasonous by Hossein Shariatmadari, who is close to Khamenei.

Heshmatollah Falahatpishe, chief of the Iranian parliament’s security commission, said earlier this week that the CFT would be referred to the Expediency Council for mediation after differences between the parliament and the Assembly of Experts emerged, with many Regime officials opposed to the FAFT laws and dismissing those in support of them.

During Tehran’s Friday prayers, Kazem Seddiqi said that Khamenei is against the FATF and warned President Hassan Rouhani’s faction that these laws are a capitulation to an enemy. This was dismissed by Rouhani backers Alireza Rahimi and Mohammad Mohajeri.

However, Mojtaba Zolnur, chief of the parliament’s nuclear commission and Khamenei supporter, said that new divisions over the CFT are springing up.

He said: “There is a movement of repentance in the parliament and some MPs who previously voted for CFT regret that decision due to people’s protests. They wanted this bill to be declined in the Guardian Council and that happened. The problem is that if this bill experiences the same fate as the two Palermo bills and the bill for amending money laundering laws and goes without review directly to the Expediency Council—which is likely to happen—these repentant MPs are practically prevented from withdrawing their votes.”

Of course, the Iranian people have not been protesting against the approval of the CFT. They would welcome the day that their rulers stop supporting terrorism. The MPs who might be reconsidering their votes will have been pressured by the Khamenei faction.

The CFT had passed the Iranian Parliament but was rejected by the Assembly of Experts.

However, people should not be confused about this, as factional disputes are par for the course in Iran, as various people struggle for power. In-faction disputes amongst Khamenei’s faction are rarer because the Supreme Leader acts like god’s representative on earth, so this indicates that the Regime and Khamenei are failing to ensure loyalty from amongst its most dedicated of supporters thanks to popular protests, a shrinking economy, and increasing international isolation.