EghtesadOnline: The constitutional arbiter Expediency Council again was unable to reach a decision on a bill that endorses Iran's accession to the UN Convention on Transnational Crime, commonly known as the Palermo bill.
Saturday's delay means another extended postponement for the bill, which will have to wait until the next calendar year that starts on March 21 and is followed by a two-week Nouroz holiday season.
Palermo bill is one of the four government bills that seek to bring Iran's anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism standards in line with international norms, specifically those defined by the global body Financial Action Task Force.
Among the absentees of the council meeting on Saturday were President Hassan Rouhani (a frequent absentee), Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (a non-member), Financial Tribune reported.
Council secretary Mohsen Rezaee told a press briefing the council has decided that the Palermo bill should be discussed in tandem with the CFT bill – another bill referred to the Expediency Council after the constitutional watchdog, the Guardian Council, refused to endorse it.
"In this assessment some points are important, one is the behavior of FATF that in the past week both commended Iran and behaved vaguely," Rezaee was quoted as saying by the news website Tabnak.
He said EU behavior often sways the council vote. "We are not satisfied with European behavior. There are important commitments in JCPOA [Iran's nuclear deal with six world powers] like the purchase of oil and establishment of bank branches that should be addressed."
President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday made a staunch defense of his government's decision to comply with global anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism standards, saying failure to do so would indeed undermine Iran's banking and financial ties with the outside world.