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Iran Ministers Send Letter To Khamenei Asking His Help For FATF Legislation

Hardliners in parliament protesting passage of anti-corruption anti money laundering legislation. File photo

One of President Hassan Rouhani’s ministers has confirmed that a letter signed by several ministers was sent to Iran’s Supreme Leader requesting his help to finalize anti-corruption legislation.

The Iranian parliament has passed four bills demanded by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international watchdog, as a precondition for Iran to be categorized as a normal country, which would help its ties with international financial institutions and in banking relations.

One of the bills would ban financing terrorism, which Iranian hardliners have vehemently objected to, arguing that it would tie Iran’s hands in rendering assistance to Hezbollah or Hamas – both considered as terror organizations by some governments.

However, the conservative Guardian Council, which is empowered to give final approval to all legislation did not approve some of the bills. The Rouhani government is anxious to have the new laws adopted to be able to improve the country’s economy.

The minister of labor and welfare Mohammad Shariatmadari confirmed on Tuesday that several ministers have written a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei requesting his help in speeding up the process.

The Guardian Council and the Expediency Council, with power to approve the bills are both stacked with members loyal to Khamenei’s, which lead many to believe the real hurdle is the Supreme Leader himself.

Earlier, there were reports that the ministers who wrote to Khamenei threatened to resign if the FATF bills are not approved.