Iran Regime’s Factional Feuds Escalate Over FATF Impasse


Original article by: Mahmoud Hakamian

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

Ahmad Alamolhoda, the Friday Prayer Imam of Mashhad and a spokesman for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, made a threatening statement directed at the members of the parliament and said: “I warn those of you at the Islamic Consultative Assembly that your approval of the anti-money-laundering bill of a foreign convention (i.e. 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 Mashhad by the agents of Alamololhoda and Ebrahim Raisi, the regime’s former presidential candidate.

Jamali Nobandegani, a member of the regime’s parliament, states: “Since I’m a member of the Parliament’s 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 clearly declare their objections to this bill.”

Another parliamentarian, Mahmoud Sadeghi, said in his Twitter post: “Who is 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 Khorassan province (where Alamolhoda and Raisi reside)”.

The parliament’s vice chairman, Ali Motahari, also reacted to Alamolhoda’s threats and said: “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 (the battle) 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 Mashhad, over the very same days that FATF has also been discussed,” (ISNA, 17 June 2018).

The direction of Rouhani’s government is clear; the approval of the FATF bill means 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 and his supporters are so worried about the approval of FATF to the extent that they’re sending threatening messages to the parliamentarians or even labelling them as “traitors”?

As mentioned earlier, the approval of FATF will restrict the regime, especially its terrorist Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) 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 for the regime is like drinking chalice of poison, as the regime will have to stop interfering in 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. This explains why Khamenei is so worried, and why Alamolhoda has gotten his gang in Mashhad to send threatening messages to the “traitor” parliamentarians.

Source: NCRI