Traffic passes in front of the Imamzadeh Saleh mosque in Tehran. (Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg)

Iran Banking Reform Blocked for Second Time by Clerical Council

(Bloomberg) -- Iran’s Guardian Council, a top political chamber of clerics and lawyers, has rejected for a second time an anti-terrorism financing bill aimed at bringing the lending sector closer to international standards, the semi-official Tasnim News agency reported.

  • The council, which vets major parliamentary decisions and new legislation, said the bill was not yet compatible with Iran’s constitution and Islamic law, Tasnim reported, citing a letter from the council to Parliament on Sunday
  • NOTE: President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet say the bill is necessary to reform Iran’s banking sector to bring it in line with international standards and reduce its risk profile
  • NOTE: Opponents of the proposed legislation say demands by international bodies such as the Paris-based Financially Action Task Force would require Iran to abandon support of groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S.

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