Saturday, May 25, 2024

Guardian Council Says Not Worried about Plebiscite on FATF Accession

Iran's Guardian Council Spokesman Abbas Kadkhodaei says the council is not afraid of any referendum on Iran’s adoption of Palermo Convention and the Convention against Financing of Terrorism (CFT).

In reaction to calls by some political figures to hold a referendum on Palermo and CFT conventions, Kadkhodaee said at present the council doesn’t see any justification for holding such a vote.

“Before making any decision, the related bodies should explicitly express their stance towards the bills,” he said Saturday.

The spokesman then referred to the latest remarks by Iranian president who said the Guardian Council is in agreement with the bills. “The Council returned the bills to the parliament after identifying some flaws in them. The Parliament made some changes to the Palermo bill which couldn’t satisfy our demands. On CFT, our required changes have not yet been made.”

He said no one is afraid of a referendum on the bills but as long as legal bodies are busy discussing them, there is no need for such a vote.

His comments about the referendum came after a group of lawmakers said they are working on a motion that, if approved, would put four issues to referendum, one of which is the FATF accession.

Earlier in the day, Iran’s Expediency Council dedicated its session to reviewing the Palermo bill, and whether Iran will join the convention; but the session ended with members of the Council postponing their decision again.

This has put the fate of the bill in limbo until the next Iranian year (starting 21 March), a member of the council said.

“Upon the request of Government and Parliament representatives, the fate of the Palermo bill and CFT will be decided by the Expediency Council, which will be given more time to scrutinize the bills,” member of Expediency Council Seyyed Mostafa Mirsalim said on Saturday.

The two Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-related bills have already been approved by lawmakers in the Iranian Parliament and need to gain the approval of the Expediency Council after they were rejected by the Guardian Council.

The bill on Iran’s accession to the convention against the funding of terrorism (CFT) was rejected by the Guardian Council in early November due to some flaws and ambiguities inherent in the CFT bill, deemed contrary to Iran’s Constitution.

These are part of the bills proposed by the Rouhani administration to get Iran out of the blacklist of the global anti-money laundering body.

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