Iran’s deputy FM defends Joining FATF

Iran’s deputy FM defends Joining FATF

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 10

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Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said the country’s membership in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the policy-making body of the international financial system, would not pose any security threat to the Islamic Republic.

Araqchi made the remarks in an open session of the Iran’s parliament June 10, while defending the bill of "Accession of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism", Tasnim news agency reported.

The bill which was proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and approved by the Cabinet in October 2017, was presented to the Parliament May 20 to take its relevant legislative procedures.

Araqchi said that the bill is one of the international instruments to fight against terrorism.

Iran, itself, is a victim of terrorism, the top diplomat said, adding that last year, the parliament building was targeted in a terrorist attack by the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS or ISIL) militants.

Araqchi further said that terrorism has countless international networks and that without joining international conventions, fighting terrorism and uprooting its financial sources would be impossible.

During the open session of the parliament, the Iranian MPs decided to suspend discussing the bill for two months in coordination with the government.

The lawmakers decided with 138 yes votes to suspend discussing Iran’s accession to the International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism until two months later when the fate of Iran's current negotiations with three European countries aimed at saving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA aka nuclear deal) is known.

Iran needs to pass the bill in order to get off the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist, but the hardliners in the country are concerned over the certain limitations that the convention would impose on Iran’s ties with groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah or Palestine’s Hamas.

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