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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Iranís Guardian Council Rejects Bill Combating Terror Financing

TEHRAN Ė Iranís Guardian Council, a parliamentary oversight body, rejected on Sunday a bill that would allow Iran to join a United Nations anti-terror financing convention and sent the draft law back to parliament, a spokesperson for the council announced.

Passed by lawmakers on Oct. 7, the Combating the Financing of Terrorism bill had been presented by President Hassan Rouhaniís government as a key step toward improving Iranís international economic relations, getting off an investment blacklist and pushing back against renewed United States sanctions.

ďThe Guardian Council has in several sessions reviewed the bill... and it has considered it to have flaws and ambiguities,Ē Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaie, a spokesperson for the council, said in a statement on Twitter.

The Guardian Council, which is tasked with guaranteeing that any laws are coherent with Islam and the Iranian constitution, sent the CFT bill back to parliament to introduce amendments.

Speaking last month in parliament ahead of the billsí passage, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif asserted that the CTF was important because the US could use the fact the Iran has not approved the bill as a pretext to put more pressure on the Islamic Republic.

Conservative lawmakers had opposed the bill over concerns that it could hinder Iranís financial support to resistance groups such as Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

The bill was one of four put forward by Rouhani to meet the demands of the Financial Action Task Force on money laundering and terrorism, whose blacklist only includes Iran and North Korea.

Iran was taken off the list two years ago, as Tehran had demonstrated its intention to make the necessary changes, but was given an October deadline to comply or face further measures that would deter investment.

European governments and others have sought to preserve ties with Iran, partly to ensure it stays in the 2015 nuclear accord, from which the US withdrew in May.

On Nov. 5, the US is set to impose further harsh sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

Many of Europeís largest companies have already pulled out of Iran, but despite the corporate exodus, the European Union wants to shield trade and finance with Iran from US sanctions, while asserting that Iran must comply with the FATF.

 

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