Oct 07, 2018 08:03 Asia/Tehran [Updated: May 14, 2019 21:40 Asia/Tehran]

The Iranian parliament (Majlis) has just voted to approve the convention of Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT), with 143 MPs voting in favour of joining the CFT, and 120 voting against. Five MPs abstained from voting.

According to an Iran Press report, 268 MPs voted in total, with 143 MPs voted on Sunday morning for Iran to join the Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) convention, with 120 MPs voting against.  

Talking to reporters and journalists on Sunday morning, Kamal Dehghani Firuzabadi, the deputy head of the national security and foreign policy commission said the commission meeting is currently underway and that principleist faction in the Majlis had requested this debate in advance, calling for an exchange of information between MPs and legal experts on the details of the CFT bill.

Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) involves investigating, analyzing, deterring and preventing sources of funding for terrorist activities. The CFT bill is one of four bills connected to The Financial Action Task Force (FATF). 

Kamal Dehghani Firuzabadi said the meeting is chaired by Heshmatollah Fallahatpisheh, and invited experts from economic and finance ministry, foreign ministry, intelligence ministry, central bank of Iran (CBI) and research center of the Islamic Consultative Assembly. Hojjatol-Islam Seyyed Mahmoud Alawi intelligence minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif foreign minister, and Rahmatollah Akrami the acting head of ministry of economy and finance, have all been invited to take part in Sunday's debate  at the parliament (Majlis).  

The Speaker of the parliament, Ali Larijani proposed that voting should take place openly and officially. Out of a total of 245 votes, 117 MPs voted in favour, 111 MPs voted against, with 17 MPs abstaining to vote, and thus it was decided that voting should be confidential and not open.

Two MPs have been selected to speak in opposition to Iran joining the CFT. They are Mohammad Dehghan (the MP for Torghabeh and Chenaran) and Hossein Naghavi Hosseini (MP for Pishva and Varamin). 

Two MPs have been selected to speak in support of Iran joining the CFT. They are Behrouz Ne'mati (MP for Tehran) and Mohammad Feizi (MP for Ardebil). Speeches and debates for and against joining the CFT are currently underway in the Majlis.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister, also delivered a 15-minute speech to the parliament in defence of CFT.

What is FATF?

Individuals and organizations who finance terrorism need to conceal how the money will be used and where it originated. The funds may come from legal sources, such as the US government, or the government of Saudi Arabia, or the government of United Arab Emirates, or the funds may come from illegal sources, such as drug trafficking (in Afghanistan) and government corruption. The funds may also come from an illegal source but appear to come from a legal source through money laundering. Money laundering and terrorism financing are often linked.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. In 2001 its mandate expanded to include terrorism financing.


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