The Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei told members of the powerful Assembly of Experts on Thursday March 14 “not to be at each other’s throats over this or that convention or agreement”.
Khamenei was referring to international anti-money laundering and anti-corruption conventions of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a multilateral agency based in Paris.
The FATF has asked Iran to amend its laws to ensure adequate financial standards. Regime officials have been bickering about whether to adopt the conventions for months and have yet to reach an agreement.
“When a certain convention or agreement is being discussed in the county, supporters and opponents should express their points of views, and the two sides should not accuse each other of accompaniment with the enemy” and fuel conflict with one another, Khamenei said.
Khamenei’s remark about the bills comes one day after the Assembly of Experts warned about the “strategic” danger of adopting the conventions.
The Assembly is the deliberative body empowered to designate and dismiss the Supreme Leader of Iran, however, all the members have to be approved by the Supreme Leader before gaining membership to the Assembly of Experts.
The institution has been rendered into a body that praises Khamenei and reiterates his positions.
During his remarks Khamenei repeatedly told his followers to “separate their ranks from those of the enemy,” adding that one should not accuse anyone who opposes him of “supporting the enemies.”
Despite his call not to label people as collaborators, he said that those who question Islamic Republic’s role in the Middle East “in fact are helping the enemy”.
He claimed that “the enemy” was afraid of Iran in the region.
The U.S., Israel and to an extent Western Europe have expressed concern over Iran’s interventionist foreign policy in regional counties, such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.
According to a recent US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor report titled “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018”, Iran has “materially contributed to human rights abuses” in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
“The country materially contributed to human rights abuses in Syria, through its military support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hizballah forces there; in Iraq, through its aid to certain Iraqi Shia militia groups; and in Yemen, through its support for Houthi rebels and directing authorities in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen to harass and detain Bahais because of their religious affiliation,” the report said.
US led sanctions against Iran have hit hard against Iran’s ability to finance known terrorist organizations.
Recently, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah made a desperate televised outcry about “facing financial difficulties” as a result of sanctions against “our backers”.
Nasrallah said that that Hezbollah was in need of “popular support” more than ever.
Speaking about U.S. sanctions, Khamenei said that while the United States talks about implementing “the strongest sanctions”, “if we mobilize maximum” resources, “we will inflict the heaviest defeat on America in that country’s history”.
The leaders of the Islamic Republic often use the rhetoric of mobilizing resources and relying on domestic talent to overcome their economic challenges, which they have created themselves during their 40 years of mismanagement and corruption.
As always, it is not clear what these “maximum” resources are and why they have not been used already to save Iran’s failing economy and “defeat” the US.