Hujjat al-Islam Seddiqi warned that meeting the requirements of the (FATF will have negative ‎consequences for Iran, and said that enacting the Palermo Convention and CFT would mean ‎surrendering to enemies.‎

RNA – Addressing a large and fervent congregation of the people attending Friday prayers in ‎Tehran, Hujjat al-Islam Kazem Seddiqi said, “I warn the Iranian officials against the negative ‎consequences of endorsement and implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ‎recommendations.”‎

He reiterated that endorsing the FATF-related bills by Iran has nothing to do with ‎development of relations with other countries.‎

The senior cleric warned that the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran have always been ‎trying to find a way to dominate the Iranian nation and prevent their independence and ‎development.‎

‎“FATF is one of the tools of the enemies’ conspiracies, and they put a great emphasis on it,” ‎he said.‎

FATF has required Iran to implement a number of moves that include endorsement of ‎several conventions.‎

The Palermo Convention is one of the four government bills seeking to bring Iran’s anti-‎money laundering and countering terrorism financing standards into line with those defined by ‎the FATF.‎

The parliament has approved all the measures but except for the bill that updates Iran’s ‎domestic law on countering financing of terrorism. All the rest have been rejected by the ‎Guardian Council – a watchdog that ensures laws are in line with the constitution and Islamic ‎law.‎

The bills on Iran’s accession to the Palermo Convention and the convention against the ‎funding of terrorism (CFT) were rejected by the Guardian Council in early November due to ‎some flaws that violated the country’s convention. The bills were then amended by the ‎Iranian Parliament, waiting for the next steps in the Guardian Council.‎

To fulfill FATF requirements, President Hasan Rouhani’s administration has proposed four bills ‎to the parliament for approval, two of which are still undecided, including the Palermo ‎Convention. They have been referred to the Expediency Council for final approval.‎

Yet, Iran has recently approved a national anti-money laundering (AML), which was a ‎domestically-developed bill.‎

In its October meeting, the FATF decided to extend the deadline for Iran until February to ‎complete reforms under the specified action plan that includes a list of 9 major moves, ‎including the opening of its financial transactions data bank to the FATF that is headed by ‎the US Department of the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary heading the Office of Terrorist ‎Financing and Financial Crimes Marshall Billingslea.‎

The Political-Defense-Security and Legal-Judicial Commissions of the EC declared in January ‎that endorsement of the Palermo bill would run against the country’s interests.‎

In relevant remarks on January 26, Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei ‎announced that the EC’s specialized commissions have rejected the country’s endorsement ‎of the Palermo bill, adding that the final decision will be made in the Council’s next meeting.‎

Speaking to reporters after an Expediency Council meeting on Palermo convention here in ‎Tehran, Rezaei said that the EC’s specialized commissions have concluded that harms and ‎losses of Iran’s endorsement of the convention would overpass its merits.‎

‎“It is a reality but the EC will have the final decision in this regard,” he added.‎

Asked if Iran is entitled to set preconditions to join Palermo and the blur conditions ‎surrounding this issue, Rezaei said, “Of course, there are much more ambiguities too and it ‎was decided that the pros and cons study them in the next meeting.”‎

It was the second week in a row that the EC deferred the decision on the bill for further ‎studies.‎

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