Chief of the Iranian judiciary's Human Rights Council has dismissed the new European trade mechanism as a mere “promissory note” and has said Iran should also delay financial legislation demanded by the West.
Speaking to the judiciary's website, Mizan on Friday, February 1, Mohammad Javad Larijani scorned the new proposal as a lot of “horn blowing” but nothing more than a promise.
Javad Larijani's position in Iran's hierarchy is much more modest than his two other brothers; one head of the all powerful judiciary and the other speaker of parliament. In his relatively ceremonial position he does not usually comment about hot foreign policy issues.
Meanwhile, Larijani tied the new proposal to the endorsement of President Hassan Rouhani's controversial bills that will pave the way for Tehran to join the international conventions against money laundering and financing global terrorism.
Three European countries, France, Germany, and the UK, announced the establishment of a mechanism to help facilitate trade with Iran, which demands economic benefits for staying in the 2015 nuclear deal.
The new proposal, labeled as “Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges” (INSTEX) will allow Iran to barter for European goods in transactions that steer clear of financial networks and do not rely on the U.S. dollar.
Nevertheless, Mohammad Javad Larijani reiterated, "The text of INSTEX, compiled by the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, is a nonsensical document" without any essence or tangible meaning.
Accused the Europe of deliberately delaying the establishment and launch of the new mechanism to harm Iran’s economy, Larijani asserted that the endorsement of the bills related to financing terrorism and money laundering should be postponed until INSTEX becomes operational.
Although INSTEX has been formally endorsed, its implementation has been postponed.
In the meantime, the European trio, France, Germany, and the UK has decisively demanded Iran to comply with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements, if it seeks rapid implementation on INSTEX.
However, the chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council's (EDC) Commission for Political and Defensive Affairs, IRGC Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, says the implementation of INSTEX has no impact on decision over the bills against money laundering and financing terrorism.
Rouhani's proposals, if adopted, would pave the way for Tehran to meet Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements -- as well as those of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), Combatting the Financing of Terrorism (CFT), and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes -- in the hope of reducing international pressure on the Islamic Republic’s deteriorating economy.
The fate of the bills is currently in the hands of EDC, which is supposed to arbitrate the constitutionality of the laws already passed by parliament.
The opponents of complying with FATF's requirements are mainly Friday Prayer leaders, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps commanders, and other conservative allies of Khamenei. They argue that passing the bills will threaten Iran’s security, whereas analysts say the real fear in circles loyal to the Supreme Leader is that adhering to rules for financial transparency would prevent Tehran from funding the Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas militant groups.