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Influential Iranian Politician Opposes FATF Legislation

Ahmad Tavvakoli, member of Iran's Expediency Discernment Council. File photo
Ahmad Tavvakoli, member of Iran's Expediency Discernment Council. File photo

While the adoption of internationally mandated anti-terror-financing and anti-money-laundering legislation by Iran remains uncertain, an influential former supporter of the measures is now opposing the approval of the bills.

According to Fars news agency controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Tavvakoli on Friday voiced his opposition to the legislation, which is a demand of the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF), backed by Western governments.

Tavvakoli insisted in a gathering of FATF opponents in Tehran that laws demanded by the international body would violate Iran’s independence.

Tavvakoli had said last week that Europe’s “humiliating and flagrant statement about trade with Iran via INSTEX proved that concessions to arrogant powers will lead to more demands” without an end.

After months of behind the scenes negotiations, Germany, France and the UK finally established a trading mechanism, which is meant to ease limited trade with Tehran despite U.S. sanctions.

President Hassan Rouhani had presented four bills to the Iranian parliament in 2017 to combat corruption, money laundering and financial support for terrorism. FATF has put Iran on its watchlist for lack of a legal framework, especially in relation with its banking system. Iran needs to satisfy FATF’s demands this month to be able to maintain its international banking relations.

Iran’s conservatives close to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have fiercely opposed the bills, eventually accepting the amended versions of two laws and still opposing two others.