Tehran, Iran, May 23
A member of Expediency Council Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam discussed the council's plan concerning the bill on Iran’s accession to the Convention against the Funding of Terrorism (CFT) in an interview with Trend.
"At the moment the issue is not expected to be reviewed,” he said. According to him, Iranian government does not pursue approval of the bills related to Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by Expediency Council.
Two controversial FATF-related bills, namely the convention against the funding of terrorism (CFT) and the one joining the UN Convention on Transnational Crime (Palermo bill), have already been approved by the lawmakers in the Iranian Parliament and need to gain the approval of the Expediency Council after they were rejected by the Guardian Council.
Referring to the comment by Expediency Council member Mohammad Sadr about withdrawal of the related bills from the council agenda, Moghadam noted, "I have asked Mr. Sadr about his comment and he rejected the claims saying that they were not withdrawn; at the moment, the bills are not on the agenda of the Council.”
Earlier, Hamshahri newspaper quoted Mohammad Sadr saying the Convention against the Funding of Terrorism and the UN Convention on Transnational Crime (Palermo bill) were withdrawn from Expediency Council agenda.
"These two related conventions are to be reviewed in the future, but currently, there are more urgent issues on the Council’s agenda," Moghadam added. “Given the current situation, I do not think that accession to these two conventions is in the interest of the country, as this step will close the ways to bypass the [US] sanctions."
In his view, since the US representative holds the position of the FATF president, the US will stop Iran’s efforts to evade sanctions. He went on to say, "If Iran joins the conventions, it means transparency in foreign transactions. Under the sanctions, other countries and companies that trade with Iran will be under pressure, and this is against our national interests."
Commenting on whether Iranian trade partners would agree to continue transactions in case if the FATF related bill is approved, he noted, "The issue has been discussed at the council, but our reviews indicate that this is not certain.”
FATF has given Iran an extended June deadline to complete the reforms necessary for joining the international body.