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Lawmaker In Iran Demands Ratification Of Financial Transparency Laws

Ali Motahari, former deputy speaker of parliament and an outspoken lawmaker.

An outspoken lawmaker in Iran has again demanded the ratification of approved laws which would allow the country to join the United Nation's Palermo and CFT conventions against transnational crimes, money laundering and funding of terrorism.

Ali Motahari who in a speech in parliament this week had condemned the interference of non-elected watchdog entities in legislation, told a local website that failure to ratify laws demanded by Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will adversely affect Iran’s economy.

The international financial watchdog FATF for years has demanded Iran adopt anti-money-laundering and anti-corruption transparency laws and reform its banking system to be allowed full access to the world banking system. Iran’s parliament after months of rancor finally passed the laws, but entities under the control of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have delayed their final approval.

Iran is currently on FATF’s watch list and has received a deadline that if it fails to observe will put the country on an international black list.

Motahari said that not approving the legislation is an unnecessary complication for Iran at a time when the country has to deal with crippling U.S. sanctions. “Even countries like China, Russia and Turkey…have stressed that if the issue of these laws are not resolved, they cannot cooperate with Iran”, the lawmaker added.

He accused “some individuals and entities” of delaying ratification for their factional and economic interests.

Economists and journalists suspect that Iran’s economic isolation benefits some regime insiders who monopolize commerce and industry and also use the opaque banking system to engage in money laundering.