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Iran FATF-Related Legislation Rejected By Expediency Council

The Financial Action Task Force held its first plenary meeting under the US Presidency in Paris on October 19, 2018.

A member of Iran's Expediency Council on Wednesday said the Council's deadline for endorsing the CFT (Combating the Financing of Terrorism) bill has ended and the bill should be considered as rejected.

The endorsement and finalization of the bill would allow Iran to join the UN conventions against money laundering and funding terrorism. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has threatened to put Iran on its reactivate counter-measures it had earlier suspended unless Iran finalizes relevant legislation before February.

Speaking to the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) on Wednesday Ahmad Tavakoli, a member of the Expediency Council, said the Council's 12-month deadline to endorse the anti-money laundering CFT bill was over. He explained that according to the Council's internal regulations reaching the deadline means the case has now been closed and added that the extension of the deadline "doesn't seem required".

The majority of the members of the Expediency Council who are appointed by Khamenei, as well as its Chairman Sadeq Larijani, are hardliners and opposed joining the UN's anti-money laundering conventions.

The CFT bill was one of the four pieces of legislation against money laundering and funding of terrorism that the Iranian Parliament ratified in October 2018 to meet the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force, an international watchdog based in Paris.

However, the hardliner Guardian Council which endorses legislation approved by the Parliament before they become actual laws turned down two of the bills, namely, the FAFT and CFT bills.

The matter was put to the arbitration of the Expediency Council, also dominated by hardliners, which kept stalling the probe into the disagreement between the Guardian Council and the Parliament until the one-year deadline was over.