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Iran: Joining the Palermo Convention Illustrates Regime’s Endless Degradation

NCRI Staff

NCRI - While Iranian regime’s parliament approved the bill to join the Palermo Convention – a UN convention against transnational organized crime – after setting five conditions, controversy over it is still going on.

Acknowledging that under current conditions the regime is denied of many international banking system’s benefits, Hassan Rouhani’s government and figures close to him say that joining the convention is necessary for preventing tougher measures by the international banks.

Ali Khoram, former regime’s ambassador to UN’s European HQ in Geneva, rules out the arguments made by opposers of joining the Palermo Convention as irrational, saying “If we’re going to work with the global economy, if we’re seeking foreign investment to be made in the country, if we want banking transfer issues to be resolved, then we have to join the convention.” (State-run ILNA news agency, February 5, 2018)

Meanwhile, regime’s FM ‘Javad Zarif’ has resorted to a baseless claim to justify joining the convention, saying “as a country at the forefront of fighting against terrorism and ISIS, we believe that it’s necessary for preserving our national interests to combat money laundering.” (regime’s channel-2 TV, February 5, 2018)

Also state-run IRNA news agency on February 6, 2018, rules out Khamene-linked oppositions against joining the Palermo Convention, writing “some of the critics in the country’s political arena have got used to unconditionally opposing Iran’s joining any international entity or organization. Following the nuclear deal and the FATF, it’s now the issue of Iran’s joining the UN Convention against transnational organized crime (aka the Palermo Convention) that is subject to oppositions by government’s critics.”

Meanwhile, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of parliament’s security committee, says that joining the Palermo Convention is aimed at stripping the Americans of their excuses as well as actively working with the international banking system (State-run ISNA news agency, January 31, 2018)

Earlier, regime’s foreign ministry issued a statement on January 29, 2018, to respond to concerns and arguments over negative consequences of joining the convention. Despite foreign ministry’s assuring about the convention’s blessings, however, Khameni-linked figures and media still don’t let go of the convention, referring to it with such terms like humiliating, self-sanctioning, harmful to national security, and even a convention that will cut the funding to Revolutionary Guards’ anti-people terrorist Quds Force.

Meanwhile, Haj-Deligani, a regime’s MP close to Khamenei, points to Rouhani’s international commitments and says that the MPs regret approving such commitments in the parliament. “The government has made 41 international commitments, including FATF and the Palermo Convention”, says Haj-Deligani, expressing hope that regime’s Guardian Council will eventually reject the parliament’s bill due to its non-compliance with regime’s constitution (State-run Daneshjou news agency, February 5, 2018)

Earlier, guardsman Hossein Shariatmadari, Khamenei’s representative in Kayhan newspaper, wrote “we’ve been asked to not only stop supporting resistance forces, but also cut Revolutionary Guards and Quds Force’s funding, only because they believe these are terrorist organizations!” (State-run Kayhan newspaper, January 27, 2018)

Meanwhile, Motalefeh Party’s Secretary General points to the fact that the convention’s main objective is to disarm the Revolutionary Guards, saying “joining the Palermo convention is self-sanctioning and disrupts our national security. The convention is an international call for fight against resistance front and the Revolutionary Guards, as the convention’s terrorism experts consider the resistance front and the Revolutionary Guards as terrorists. Signing the agreement means disarming and cornering the Revolutionary Guards in the face of such terrorist groups like MEK. This leaves the country defenseless against regime’s sworn enemies (State-run Mehr news agency, January 29, 2018)

The opposers’ main concern is that once the regime joins the convention, it’ll have to take part in the international fight against terrorism and be in line with the international community in this regard. This is while the opposers of joining the convention believe that the convention’s main targets are the Labanese Hezbollaha and its affiliated militias in the region, and that upon joining the convention the regime has to act against the groups it itself has raised.

But beyond the dogfights between regime’s rival bands in this regard, joining the convention actually means that the regime is acceding to international community’s demand to stop supporting terrorism and terrorist groups; groups whose survival relies on regime’s financial and even logistical and armed support.

By joining the convention, Rouhani’s government has committed to cut its financial, logistical and banking support for its affiliated terrorist groups.

It’s clear that this means putting an end to sponsoring terrorist groups, which by itself significantly accelerates regime’s acceding to taking yet another poisoned chalice, this time the regional one.

Stopping support for terrorist groups in the region also means that regime’s regional interventions will be significantly hit.

This is among the humiliating conditions to which Khameni has referred as ‘endless degradation’, a degradation that will definitely facilitate overthrowing the regime.

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