Iran Responds to Erdogan’s Criticism of Anti-Ankara Stances

Iran Rejects Russia's Mediation, Says Has No Plans for Direct Talks with US

Chief of Staff of Iranian President’s Office Mahmoud Vaezi has responded to the Turkish president’s call for silencing anti-war voices inside Iran.

Vaezi said Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments are not directed at the Iranian government, but are mostly about the sporadic stances taken across the country.

He added that the Islamic Republic has good relations with Turkey and Syria, and Tehran must take a stance that does not worsen the conflicts.

Hailing the recent agreement between Russia and Turkey on northern Syria, he said Iran’s position is clear.

On the one hand, Iran understands and recognises Turkey’s security issues, but on the other hand, Syria’s territorial integrity must be preserved and these attacks must not disintegrate Syria, Vaezi said on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

“Tuesday’s deal seems to be in this line, and Iran generally welcomes that there will be no war again.

The media should also consider this issue,” he continued.

Moscow has warned Kurdish forces to quickly withdraw from the Turkey-Syria border – after an agreement between Moscow and Ankara adding that Washington had “betrayed and abandoned” the Syrian Kurds.

On Tuesday, Turkey and Russia agreed to deploy Syrian and Russian forces to northeast Syria to remove Kurdish fighters and their weapons from the border. On October 9, Turkey launched an offensive aimed at creating a “safe zone” cleared of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which Ankara considers as terrorists.

Regarding the FATF, Vaezi noted that the government’s stance on the FATF is clear. Iran is not discussing FATF membership, but the important point is the four bills that have been approved and the various opinions the government received on them.

“The government has applied these ideas. The government’s point is that Iran needs these bills.

We need these bills to be transparent and to combat money laundering. In order to prevent the spread of the rumours of Iran’s support for some groups and facilitating banking relations, Tehran needs these bills to be approved. Unfortunately, some have opposed these bills and turned them into political matters. Wherever they are, they must accept responsibility for their opposition to the FATF,” reiterated Vaezi.

He went on to say that the FATF bills were discussed at the Supreme Economic Coordination Council and the outcome of these discussions has been announced to the Leader of Islamic Revolution. The government and parliament have done their job, but the body that has disrupted their approval has to explicitly announce to the public the cost of its act.

“Based on the last decision taken, the FATF has given Iran four months, and during this period, if no action is taken, no further extensions will be granted and we will be automatically blacklisted, and we actually boycott ourselves in banking relationships with the world,” concluded Vaezi.

The global anti-money-laundering watchdog is increasing pressure on Iran to meet its standards while giving the country more time to do so.

The Financial Action Task Force on Friday extended until February a deadline for Iran to implement certain measures or face further restrictions. The earlier deadline was June 2019.

Iran in recent years has passed legislation to address money-laundering and terrorist-financing issues, but bills ratifying treaties related to combating these problems haven’t come into force, the FATF said. The watchdog added that it considers only fully enacted legislation when reviewing a country’s efforts.

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