Iran risks losing remnants of international support

Iran risks losing remnants of international support

Baku, Azerbaijan, November 14

By Azer Ahmadbayli – Trend:

By rejecting the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) bill, Iran runs the risk of losing the fragile support that the international community is still lending to it.

Iran's Parliament has endorsed the FATF bill on combating the financing of terrorism (CFT); however the bill failed to pass the Guardian Council – a supervisory body overseeing the Iranian Parliament.

The bill, passed by the Parliament on October 7, is one of four put forward by the government of President Hassan Rouhani in order to meet demands set by FATF.

Even Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is used to deal with diplomatic language, could not keep his regret about the rejection of the CFT bill, and criticized the current negative attitude in some circles of the Iranian society against the approval of the documents, saying that there are groups in the country that profit from money laundering.

Pointing to the confidential facts in this case, he admitted: "Even if I have any proof of it, I will not be able to make it public, but there are many cases that show the volume of money laundering in the country."

"I don't want to point finger at someone, but there are some places where thousands of billions of rials is laundered, Zarif said. “I do not accuse any organization. I think of individuals who benefit from this negative atmosphere."

Iranian hardliners believe, sincerely or not, that accepting FATF demands is a threat to the national sovereignty and may lead to losing it.

Kazem Sedighi, one of the well-known clerics, has praised Guardian Council for rejection of the FATF bill, Iranian media reported.

“Today, we are asking the authorities to not approve the humiliating bills of FATF which is similar to capitulation treaty (the so-called capitulation law - diplomatic immunity from the local jurisdiction, granted by the Shah to American military personnel in Iran in 1964),” he said.

“The Supreme Leader has stated that these laws are written to colonialize us, so we appreciate the Guardian Council that rejected the bills", he said.

The bill should finally be sent to Expediency Discernment Council to decide its fate. The Council is an advisory body in Iran’s political structure acting as an arbiter, in which the Conservatives make absolute majority.

Meanwhile, 40 conservative MPs have sent a letter to the Expediency Council, urging it to reject a package of bills making Iran a party to international agreements on combating terrorism financing and money laundering, Radiofarda reported.

“I think the opinion of the Expediency Discernment Council, according to the position of Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani has already been announced,” MP Jalal Mirzaie said. “It is clear that this dispute is not supposed to be resolved.”

In the meantime negative effects were just around the corner.

Due to the rejection of the CFT bill, the UAE banks have blocked more than 1,500 Iranian bank accounts, and their condition to re-open the accounts is joining FATF, the head of Iran - UAE Chamber of commerce Masoud Daneshmand said in an interview with Trend.

The Emirates’ bankers said that any financial transfer must be transparent and within the framework of FATF, and since Iran is not a member of it, they cannot have any bank account in the UAE, he added.

The CFT bill has passed in the Parliament by low votes and had many opponents who supposed to be following the benefits of specific groups that seek lack of transparency of financial transactions, weakening government and capital accumulation by creating fluctuations in the market, Iranian economist Mahmoud Jamsaz told ILNA.

"Some of these groups have benefited greatly from the previous sanctions," he added.

"Although the Europeans are looking for resolutions like Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to facilitate the banking transactions, their decision will be weakened by such Iran’s approaches and lead the US to claim that Iran lacks financial transparency. This will hurt the small and medium European companies so they might refuse to invest in Iran," the expert said.

Referring to the remained time of passing the FATF bills (February is a deadline), Jamsaz says that if the FATF bills will not go through in the upcoming 4 months, even Europe, Russia and China won't support Iran, since they are also following their own interests and will not get into a trade war with the US because of the Islamic Republic.

Another economic expert, Kamran Nadri, also believes that if the FATF requirements and recommendations are not met by Tehran, the financial relations of such friendly countries as Russia and China with Iran will become very complicated, according to Khabarfarsi.

Even the neighboring countries won’t cooperate with Iran if it doesn’t have financial transparency, Member of the Iranian Parliament’s Agriculture, Water and Natural Resources Committee Jalal Mahmoudzadeh said in an interview with ILNA last week.

“Without financial transparency, European banks won’t cooperate with us,” he said. “FATF projects should be approved if we want to carry out banking operations with other countries.”

Today, Iran is not in a position to ignore the support from major world powers such as the EU, Russia or China, and risks being targeted by them. Perhaps, the issue can go even further and the EU, as well as others may at some point decide to entirely join the US sanctions.

So after all, there is a question: which one is a real threat to the national sovereignty – enactment of CFT bill or inability of the Iranian foreign minister to make the ugly facts public?

Cargo shipment from Azerbaijan via Turkish ports for 1H2020 announced
Cargo shipment from Azerbaijan via Turkish ports for 1H2020 announced
Georgian Airways to launch Tbilisi-Batumi flights
Georgian Airways to launch Tbilisi-Batumi flights
Volume of cargo transshipment through Turkish Aliaga port in 1H2020 disclosed
Volume of cargo transshipment through Turkish Aliaga port in 1H2020 disclosed
Loading Bars
Latest
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 30 times
Baku's Executive Authority conducting solid waste transportation reforms
Algeria to reopen mosques for public: president
Uzbekistan provided Kyrgyzstan with USD 560 thsd aid, int’l organizations
Albanian president approves military deal with Turkey
Azerbaijani entrepreneurs receive investment capital within the EU-funded project
Turkey sees plunge in number of French tourists in 1H2020
Kazakhstan's export of locally-made goods to Israel plummets
Austria and Georgia – a Promising Partnership on the European Market
Bosnia appreciating Iran's support
Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia resume Nile Dam talks
COVID-19 deaths in Brazil near 95,000
Storms, coronavirus pose "double threats" to children in Central America, Caribbean
Another 12 coronavirus patients die in Moscow in the past day
Latvia's industrial production showing signs of recovery
11 people injured in hard landing of UN plane in Mali
Bangladesh posts current account deficit of nearly 5 bln USD in fiscal 2019-20
Gov't incentives help boost car sales in Spain during July
Netanyahu warns Israel will hit back any attacks
Lebanese foreign minister quits over slow reforms, Aoun adviser takes over
Turkey’s IT Valley new autotech hub as TOGG partners with FEV
WHO representative to visit Hamedan
Kazakhstan coronavirus death toll rises to 1,058
Tbilisi Art Fair cancels 2020 edition with pandemic restrictions in mind
Cargo shipment from Azerbaijan via Turkish ports for 1H2020 announced
Chinese artificial intelligence company files $1.4 billion lawsuit against Apple
Another 78 oxygen concentrators delivered to Kyrgyz capital
Turkey's five-month export to EU lowers
PCR certification mandatory for Iraqis entering Iran
COVID-19 testing completed at Lilo Mall and Dinamo Market in Georgia
Coronavirus pandemic increases demand for private housing in suburbs of large cities in Georgia
TABIB: Issue of opening small outdoor cafes in Azerbaijan to be discussed
TABIB: Number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals decreases thanks to strict quarantine
Azerbaijan reveals number of COVID-19 tests carried out so far
Google unveils its first 5G phones, starting at $499
Speakers of Azerbaijani, Turkish parliaments have telephone conversation
Issue related to allowing trips to Azerbaijani districts under discussion
Azerbaijani cities, districts with extended quarantine restrictions disclosed - LIST
Italian specialists arrive in Azerbaijan as part of fight against coronavirus
TABIB: Worldwide work towards COVID-19 vaccine development in spotlight
Assistant to Azerbaijani president: UN special session may last 5-6 months, even year
Assistant to Azerbaijani president meets with members of Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh region
Assistant to Azerbaijani president: Resumption of subway, shopping centers activities could lead to COVID-19 cases increase
Assistant to Azerbaijan's president talks new possible social support measures during COVID-19
Azerbaijan Finance Ministry recalculates budget parameters for current year
Georgian Airways to launch Tbilisi-Batumi flights
Uzbekistan's tourism ambassador: Tourism sector of Uzbekistan has great opportunities for investors
Hikmat Hajiyev: Azerbaijan following COVID-19 vaccine dev't process
Flights between Azerbaijan, foreign countries planned to be opened
Assistant to President: There's positive dynamics in fighting COVID-19 in Azerbaijan
Ministry: Georgia receives good harvest of potato
Azerbaijan to apply toughened special quarantine regime in one more district
Azerbaijan discloses restrictions remaining in force during quarantine regime
Diesel prices increase in Kazakhstan year-on-year
Azerbaijan reports 647 new COVID-19 recoveries
World Bank's tourism development consultant talks future of tourism in Uzbekistan
Restrictions on public transport to remain in some cities, districts of Azerbaijan
Turkey's General Directorate of State Airports Authority opens tender to purchase fuel
Weekly review of Georgian capital market
Turkmenistan discloses volume of potatoes harvested in Dashoguz region
Azerbaijan discloses country's 1H2020 currency reserves
Azerbaijani association talks impact of COVID-19 on production of sand, gravel, stone
Rules on empty home tax to apply to Iran's cities with population over 100,000
Operational Headquarters makes decision to mitigate quarantine regime in Azerbaijan
Another resident registered at Azerbaijan's Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park
Armenian side creates fake Twitter account in name of Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry
Operational Headquarters under Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers cancels permission for leaving home via SMS
Azerbaijan discloses rules for visiting beaches during quarantine regime
Georgia increases export of peaches, nectarines
Volume of foreign currency transactions at Turkmen State Commodity Exchange revealed
Volume of cargo transshipment through Turkish Aliaga port in 1H2020 disclosed
How “friendship” for money let Armenia down
Uzbek-Korean JV opens tender to buy batteries
Azerbaijan, US expand agricultural cooperation
Uzbek bank invests at London Stock Exchange
MP: Azerbaijani army fully equipped, has powerful staff potential (VIDEO)
Heritage Foundation talks necessary measures to improve Turkmenistan’s energy sector
Coronavirus situation under control in Iran - Rouhani
ADB to help strengthen health system of Uzbekistan
Georgian Credo Bank, EIB sign finance agreement to support MSMEs in Georgia
Uzbekistan increases cotton oil production
Turkmen Ministry opens tender for construction of facilities
Wall Street Journal publishes article criticizing double standards of Human Rights Watch
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for August 3
Kazakhstan-based world's largest uranium producer talks 2020 operational forecasts
Turkmenistan reveals volume of natural gas supplied to China
Kazakhstan’s postal service operator to buy fuel via tender
SHELL & TURCAS PETROL reduces sales of petroleum products
Iran aims to increase steel production
Rouhani: Iran's economic strategy to be realistic
Iran stock index breaks new record
Int'l Road Transport Union supports transport infrastructure digitalization in Uzbekistan
Georgia's Batumi sees decrease in real estate transactions
Azerbaijani Consulate General in US' LA sends letter of protest to UFC President
German Lufthansa resumes regular flights to Georgia
Turkmenistan imports various types of textile products from EAEU countries
Uzbekistan aims to complete construction of first GTL plant in 2020 despite pandemic
ADB highlights four key areas that can help Uzbekistan to recover its economy
Kazakhstan's uranium production down year-on-year amid COVID-19 pandemic
Export from Turkey to Turkic-speaking countries shows uptick in 1H2020
All news