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EghtesadOnline: With lawmakers insisting on their own version of anti-terror finance (known as CFT) bill, the legislation on Sunday was sent to the arbitration Expediency Council for a final decision.

The outcome, which was largely predictable, given the stalemate between the Majlis and the Guardian Council, now puts the onus on the influential body (EC) which will rule in the interest of the ‘expediency of the system’. 

Last December lawmakers passed amendments to the landmark anti-terror finance bill (first approved in October) to address objections raised by the constitutional watchdog the Guardian Council. 

MPs however insisted on the second note of the bill, rejecting any tweaks to them. In order to become law, bills passed by the parliament must also be approved by the Guardian Council – a body made up of six clerics appointed by the Leader and six law experts charged with ensuring that draft laws are compatible with religious laws and the Islamic Republic Constitution, according to Financial Tribune.

Mostafa Kavakebian, a member of Majlis National Security Commission, predicted on Sunday that the Expediency Council would endorse both the CFT bill and the Palermo bill, ICANA reported. 

An Expediency Council meeting on joining the UN Convention on Transnational Crime (aka Palermo bill) ended without any decision on Saturday, leaving the fate of the controversial bill unknown until next week.

Palermo bill is one of the four government bills that seek to bring Iran's anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism standards in line with international norms, specifically those defined by the Financial Action Task Force. 

The Majlis has approved all the measures except the CFT bill and the Guardian Council has rejected the rest. FATF said last October that Iran has until February to complete reforms or face consequences. 

The Paris-based body said after a meeting of its members that it was disappointed that Tehran had failed to complete its action plan despite earlier pledges to make the upgrade. It had previously set an October deadline to complete all ten reforms.



Iran Expediency Council Parliament Lawmakers CFT Bill anti-terror finance