Feuds Over FATF, Iran Regime’s Impasse

By Mahmoud Hakamian

Despite the Iranian regime’s parliament’s stagnant progress in joining the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) or the acceptance of certain protocols against money laundering and terrorism funding, controversies are continuing outside, between the regime’s political parties.

Ahmad Alamolhoda, the spokesman of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as well as the Friday Prayer Imam of Mashhad, made a threatening statement directed at the members of the parliament: “warning to those of you at the Islamic Consultative Assembly; your approval of the anti-money-laundering bill of a foreign convention, i.e., the FATF, will make you a traitor, because it will enable the enemies to take full control over our country’s transactions”.

So far, thousands of threatening text messages have been sent to the members of the parliament.

According to parliamentarians, these messages have been sent from the agents of Alamololhoda and Ebrahim Raisi (i.e., the regime’s former presidential candidate) in Mashhad.

A member of the parliament, Jamali Nobandegani, states: “Since I’m a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, I have been the target of more than 1000 messages of almost identical formats. These messages, which have been sent to the opponents as well as the supporters of the FATF bill, have demanded from the parliamentarians to frankly declare their objections to this bill”.

A parliamentarian named Mahmoud Sadeghi said in his Twitter post: “Who’s responsible for the harmful behaviours of those who hinder the transparency of our banking?! a non-transparent banking network is home to the seven-headed dragon of corruption, which mostly stems from Khorasan (where Alamolhoda and Raisi reside)”.

The parliament’s vice chairman, Ali Motahari, also reacted to Alamolhoda’s threats towards the parliament: “If parliamentarians were going to base their decisions on the opinions of Mr Alamolhoda, the Islamic Republic of Iran would not even be in existence now, as it would have lost to the United States and Israel a long time ago. Revolutions are often damaged the most by their own ignorant supporters”.

He continued: “Mr Alamolhoda’s recent statement may help us find the source of the somewhat threatening messages that our parliamentarians have been receiving from Masshad, over the very same days that FATF has also been discussed”. (ISNA 17 June 2018)

The direction of Rouhani’s government is clear; the legislation of the FATF bill will mean that the regime will be forced to comply with the West, regarding the nuclear deal, missile program, and regional politics; which will ultimately lead to the termination of the regime’s funding of terrorism too.

The question that remains is, why are Khamenei’s supporters so worried about the approval of FATF, to the extent that they’re sending threatening messages to the parliamentarians or even labelling them “traitors”?

As mentioned earlier, the approval of FATF will restrict the regime, especially its terrorist Revolutionary Guard Corps and Quds Force, in their support of terrorism; with the approval of this bill, the regime will be unable to continue funding the affiliating terrorist groups especially the Hezbollah of Lebanon.

In summary, the approval of FATF is like drinking poison for the regime, as it will have to stop interfering with the affairs of the Middle Eastern countries and eventually, retreat from its ‘strategic depth’; which will be disastrous for the regime because without its terrorist affiliates and strategic depth, it will seriously struggle to survive. Which explains why Khamenei is so worried, and why Alamolhoda has gotten his gang in Mashhad to send threatening messages to the “traitor” parliamentarians.


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