Mon, Oct 08, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Iranian lawmakers vote for checks on terrorist funding

WORTH TRYING:Passing the legislation might not solve all of Iran’s problems, but would take away the US’ excuses to increase its problems, foreign minister Javad Zarid said

Reuters, DUBAI

The Iranian parliament yesterday approved new measures against funding terrorism, changes that officials hoped could move Tehran closer to global norms and help remove it from investment blacklists as it faces renewed US sanctions.

The measures, which allow Iran to join Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT), still have to be approved by a clerical body before they become law.

Iranian legislative speaker Ali Larijani daid that 143 of 268 lawmakers present voted to join CFT.

Tehran said it has been trying to implement international standards against money laundering and the funding of terrorism set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), but it has struggled to get the measures passed.

In June, the Paris-based task force gave Iran three months to pass laws needed to be removed from the blacklist.

Hardliners in parliament have opposed legislation aimed at moving toward compliance with FATF standards, arguing it could hamper Iranian financial support for allies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

FATF has said Tehran has until this month to complete the reforms or face consequences that could further deter investors from the country.

“The parliament faces a historic decision ... to act along the interests of the nation and take away any future excuses from the United States [to pressure Iran],” Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif told parliament before the vote, which was broadcast on public radio.

“Neither I nor the president can guarantee that all problems will go away if we join [the UN convention],” he said. “But I guarantee that not joining will provide the US with more excuses to increase our problems.”

Foreign businesses have said that legislation that includes FATF guidelines is essential if they are to increase their investments.

The bill on joining the CFT was one of four put forward by the government to meet FATF’s demands.

In May, the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear framework deal between six nations and Tehran, and reimposed sanctions.

Washington has told countries that they must halt imports of Iranian oil from Nov. 4 or face US financial measures.

Additional reporting by AFP and AP

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