Iran to Miss Opportunities If It Fails to Adopt FATF: Rouhani

Iranian president says without adoption of the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and cooperation with foreign banks, chances will be lost and it will be 20% more costly to resolve the country’s economic problems.

Addressing a group of Roads and Urban Development Ministry officials on Monday, Rouhani said the country would miss opportunities if it fails to adopt the standards of the anti-money laundering body.

“Our problems will still be solved without the cooperation of foreign banks, but if we do it via the banking system, it will certainly be less expensive,” he noted, reiterating that it would be 20% costlier to do the transactions without the FATF.

The president further mentioned that it is not possible to cut the ties with international banks at present. “Some want to tell the people if an agreement is signed, it is against Islam. But it is not against Islam.”

He said it is not acceptable to chant a slogan while the slogan is not explained to people properly, the government’s official website Dolat.ir reported.

He pointed to the Iran nuclear deal and said, “When we say the JCPOA has to be preserved, we have to give a reason, and when we say it does not have to exist we must say why we do not want it. The important thing is to ask people if they want expensive or inexpensive life?”

 

Life Must Be Made Easier for People

President Rouhani said there are 2,700 worn-out neighbourhoods that, with their modernising, the construction industry would be boosted, many jobs would be created, and safety can be improved for people.

“We still enjoy looking at a 500 to 1,000 year-old building and we are sure the building will never collapse. On the other hand, we build houses that after 15 years they need to be reconstructed.”

We must make life easier for the people, he added.

 

Call for Supporting Foreign Investment

President Rouhani also noted that the country should support foreign investors to develop its economy.

“We have made some investments in the airspace industry, which were politically and socially important and had no economic advantages. 80% of our flights are carried out in 10 airports, and the other airports have a limited number of flights. Some airports do not have financial benefits. We need equipped airports in cities like Tehran to be linked to global and regional transportation.”

Rouhani went on to say that once a foreign investment company wanted to build Tehran’s International Imam Khomeini Airport with its own money within two years, but the incumbent minister did not accept, and now, many years since then, the airport’s development has not been finished yet.

“Currently, there are some problems that need to be addressed. When we say foreign investors must come to the country, some say it makes problems. This comes as we recruit foreign football coaches with no problem. If it is allowed, why do we say foreign investment is Haram?”

 

Railway Expansion

The Iranian president further noted that expansion of railways is the government’s priority in the field of transportation.

In the 11th and 12th administrations, about 2,000 kilometres of railroads were constructed, while in the previous administrations totally 9,000 kilometres of railroads had been built, added Rouhani.

Referring to the fact that about 20 percent of the country’s railways were built in the past five years, he saod this shows that over the past five years a great deal of work has been done in this area.

He also called for the acceleration of connecting Khorramshahr railway to Basra in Iraq and also Khaaf railway to Herat in Afghanistan.

The president further admitted that the ports play a very important role in the country’s transit acknowledging thatChabaharport is of great significance in this regard.

“Fortunately, the transit through Chabahar has reached 8.5 million tones from 2.5 million tonnes, and considering its location, the port will be the hub of important transit links in the region,” he added.

   
   

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