Expediency Council suspicious of request on endorsing CFT, Palermo: Rezaie

TEHRAN, Feb. 16 (MNA) – Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaie said that the body is suspicious of European countries’ requests for endorsing FATF-related bills in the country.

He made the remarks in a live IRIB TV program aired Friday night.

“This financial channel [INSTEX], which the Europeans have established, is in fact not a financial channel, but a commodity one; it means they take our oil and give us commodities in return. They are mistakenly calling it as a financial channel … Our oil is sold and our money goes to a deposit which is in their control and they give us medicine, agricultural goods, and food in return.”

“The important point is that Western and European countries are introducing troubles in our financing, but they say let's cooperate financially. If your banks do not work with us, how do you expect our banks to trade with you?”

The ‘dishonesty’ of Western countries prove that they do not want to give us Iran's own money, he said, adding, “this is why we are suspicious of requests on CFT [the bill on convention against the funding of terrorism] and Palermo [bill] and we have urged the government and parliament to explicitly answer the ambiguities.”

Iran has already ratified two of the amendment bills on the country’s domestic laws regarding money laundering and terrorism financing. But the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, known as Palermo Convention in Iran, as well as the bill on Iran’s accession to the convention against the funding of terrorism (CFT), are the two controversial bills undergoing intensive reviews in the Expediency Council for the final verdict.

Meanwhile, new concerns have risen among Iranian officials regarding the FATF and EU’s trade mechanism for Iran, known as INSTEX.

Some officials are concerned that EU would pressure Iran into joining FATF as a condition for implementing the trade mechanism to facilitate trade with the country in the face of US sanctions.

Iran says the two issues are completely separate and must not be linked together. The bills are now being reviewed in the Expediency Council.

MAH/4542929

News Code 142549

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