Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, October 28, 2019—Tensions are escalating at senior ranks of the Iranian regime as the deadline for Tehran to sign all bills approving the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirement is looming. Various factions in Iran have different initiatives in mind, leading to a growing and dangerous rift for the ruling elite.
Mojtaba Zolnouri, chair of the Security Commission in the Iranian regime’s Majlis (parliament), described earlier remarks made by regime President Hassan Rouhani and First Vice President Es’hagh Jahangiri as “disrupting public opinion.”
“They have to be held accountable. They have locked the country. The country being locked is the result of a magician who came and showed a key to the people, and yet he had hidden his lock under his magic handkerchief. He locked the people with his measures,” Zolnouri said. The key and lock phrase are a reference to a slogan used by Rouhani during his reelection campaign back in 2017.
During a cabinet meeting on October 23, Rouhani acknowledged the fact that crises are intensifying immensely in the regime’s senior ranks over FATF convention bills. He also warned about the state being “closed down” and said to his rivals, “We shouldn’t bring down the curtains on the (state).”
“I won’t talk about the FATF because some people are very sensitive over this issue,” he said during that meeting. “Why do they literally become red when we talk about these issues? They start having problems. I won’t talk about the FATF. We have four bills in this regard, all approved by the Majlis and the government. So why are some people hindering this process and blocking the path of the government and the Majlis? We shouldn’t bring down the country’s curtains because some people want to have a specific slogan in upcoming elections and gain more votes. This will be against your interests, too. God willing, if I was alive, I will tell the people who brought down the country’s curtains,” he threatened.
Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari, a Majlis member known for his very close ties to Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s faction, warned Rouhani and Jahangiri to take back their claims of Khamenei approving all FATF bills. After their apologies, necessary action will be taken against them based on the law, he added.
“Jahangiri must be held accountable and compensate for his mistake. He has committed a crime and one of the solutions is that he must say he made a mistake. However, the law makes it clear what actions should be taken against him,” Shabestari said.
The Fars news agency, known to be directly controlled by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) wrote, “There are suggestions for Khamenei to hold Jahangiri accountable for his remarks over the FATF bills.”
Ahmad Salak, another Majlis member, also referred to the dead-end facing the regime in regards to the FATF.
“The fact that the government is insisting on adopting the FATF is tantamount to retreating and allowing the enemy to advance,” Salak said in an interview with the Mehr news agency, known to be affiliated to the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security. “Those who say not adopting the FATF means an end to our relations with the world are making ridiculous remarks. The adoption of this bill has nothing to do with this matter.”