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Iran Rejects Report on Europe's Conditions for Improving Relations

FARS News Agency logo FARS News Agency 04/03/2019 FARS News Agency
a person posing for the camera: Iran Rejects Report on Europe's Conditions for Improving Relations © Provided by FARS News Agency Iran Rejects Report on Europe's Conditions for Improving Relations

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi dismissed a recent report by al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that four European states had asked Iran to amend its positions in four countries of Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Iraq, describing it as "incomplete and incorrect".

"The European states know that we are not a country which accepts conditions and we do not take permission from others on internal and foreign policies," he told reporters in a press conference in Tehran on Monday.

Qassemi added that Iran does not either think that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), whose approval is insisted by the European states, will resolve all economic problems in the country.

Iran has been required to fulfill dozens of FATF recommendations to enhance its status from a blacklist of non-cooperative countries, while the country is under US sanctions. The country's status in FATF has no impact on toughening or easing the US sanctions.

FATF has required Iran to implement a number of moves that include endorsement of several conventions.

Palermo bill is one of the four government bills seeking to bring Iran's anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing standards into line with those defined by the FATF.

The parliament has approved all the measures but except for the bill that updates Iran's domestic law on countering financing of terrorism. All the rest have been rejected by the Guardian Council – a watchdog that ensures laws are in line with the Constitution and Sharia.

The bills on Iran’s accession to the Palermo Convention and the CFT were rejected by the Guardian Council in early November due to some flaws that violated the country’s Constitution. The bills were then amended by the Iranian Parliament, waiting for the next steps in the Guardian Council.

To fulfill FATF requirements, President Hassan Rouhani’s administration has proposed four bills to the parliament for approval, two of which are still undecided, including the Palermo Convention. They have been referred to the Expediency Council for final approval.

Yet, Iran has recently approved a national anti-money laundering (AML), which was a domestically-developed bill.

In its February meeting, the FATF decided to extend the deadline for Iran until June to complete reforms under the specified action plan that includes a list of 9 major moves, including the opening of its financial transactions data bank to the FATF that is headed by the US Department of the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary heading the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Marshall Billingslea.

Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council Mohsen Rezayee underlined on Saturday that the Europeans had not implemented their undertakings under the 2015 nuclear deal, saying that the INSTEX (Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges) mechanism is not enough.

"We are not satisfied with the Europeans' behavior at present," Rezayee told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.

He added that their approval of INSTEX mechanism did not mean that they had adopted sufficient measures to implement their nuclear deal undertakings.

Rezayee is the secretary of the Expediency Council which is the last high-ranking Iranian body to decide the fate of the FATF that has been considered by the European countries as a pretext for implementation of the INSTEX.

In a news meeting in Bucharest in January, German, British and French foreign ministers officially announced the commissioning of the European special financial mechanism known as INSTEX.

Iran has rejected conditioning the INSTEX on the approval of FATF requirements, saying that it is among the undertakings Europe had accepted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the EU is required to hold up its end of the bargain without asking for more moves and undertakings by Iran.

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