MP: Iran’s refusal to pass FATF sought by enemy Tehran slams Paris stance on Iran’s missile program
A lawmaker said Iran’s refusal to pass the anti-money laundering laws demanded by the international community would be tantamount to “falling into a trap set by the enemy.”
“At a time that our enemies are trying to lay a trap (to harm Iran’s interests), we should be vigilant not to fall into such traps,” Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, the chairman of Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said, IRNA reported.
Iran has been trying to implement standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization that underpins the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
Iran’s Parliament has passed the bills required by FATF, but the Guardian Council, which must review all legislation, refused to put its seal of approval and the law was referred to the Expediency Council, which constitutionally is the arbiter between Parliament and the Guardian Council.
The approval of one of the bills, namely Combatting Financing Terrorism (CFT), has been the main bone of contention.
Some Iranian politicians have opposed the bill because it could restrict Iranian financial support for allies.
Falahatpisheh said joining CFT is crucial for the country’s banking relations, warning that the refusal of the bill would lead to the “locking of our banking system.”
He added that Iran’s concerns about joining CFT could be easily allayed by placing reservations to the bill, something he said many countries have done as well.
“Over 70 countries have placed reservations for joining CFT, we can do the same,” he said.
Echoing that view, lawmaker Ardeshir Nourian, a member Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said, “Iran’s healthy economic relations with the world” hinge on approving the CFT.
“If we are to have foreign trades and transactions with the world, we should pass CFT.”
Describing Iran as one the top 20 countries in the world economy, Falahatpisheh said Iran’s goal is to “defuse tensions” and “to have interaction with the world.”
He pointed to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as an example of Tehran’s good intentions to interact with the world and slammed US President Donald Trump for his abandoning of the historic agreement.
“Trump violated the nuclear deal,” he said, underlining that Iran does not plan to go to the extremes in the long run.
“We should act based on our national interests and consider the impact of our decisions on people,” he concluded. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi criticized the French Foreign Ministry’s provocative comments about Iran’s ballistic missile program, urging Paris to avoid repeating such “irresponsible and incorrect” claims regarding the Islamic Republic’s defensive programs.
“It is expected from France to stop echoing incorrect claims made by those who are against the JCPOA,” the official further said, referring to Iran’s nuclear deal with world power in 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and in a clear reference to the United States that unilaterally withdrew from the landmark accord last year, Press TV reported.
He made the remarks on Friday, hours after French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll called on Tehran to “immediately cease all ballistic missile-related activities designed to carry nuclear weapons, including tests using ballistic missile technology.”
“Contrary to the French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman’s claim, Iran’s missile program has neither been established for nonconventional purposes, nor the country’s natural right to strengthen its scientific and defensive capabilities as developed in the form of missile program is in violation of [UN Security Council] Resolution 2231,” said Qassemi.
The statement from the French ministry came just a day after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran’s domestically-manufactured rockets would carry two new satellites into orbit in the coming weeks.
Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Iran’s planned launch of space rockets and missiles breaches Resolution 2231 that endorsed the JCPOA. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed Pompeo’s claim, saying Washington has already violated that resolution and thus cannot “lecture” Tehran on it.