Rouhani vows to defeat ‘anti-Iranian’ officials in the White House

Iran will overcome newly reimposed US measures against Tehran, sanctions that will only serve to unify the nation, President Hassan Rouhani said. (File photo: Reuters)
Updated 28 August 2018
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Rouhani vows to defeat ‘anti-Iranian’ officials in the White House

  • “We are not afraid of America or the economic problems,” he said. “We will overcome the troubles”
  • Rouhani said his government would overcome the economic challenges and show “the anti-Iranian officials in the White House” that the sanctions would fail

LONDON: Iran will overcome newly reimposed U.S. measures against Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani told a parliamentary session on Tuesday, vowing that his government would defeat any Western plot against the Islamic Republic.
The parliament summoned Rouhani for the first time to answer questions on weak economic growth and rising unemployment, but Rouhani said the troubles only began when Washington reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew in May from a deal that had lifted sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
Washington imposed a new round of sanctions in August targeting Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals, its purchases of U.S. dollars and its car industry. A new round of sanctions to be imposed in November targets Iranian oil sales.
"I want to assure the Iranian nation that we will not allow the U.S. plot against the Islamic Republic to succeed," Rouhani said in a live broadcast on state television.
"We will not let this bunch of anti-Iranians in the White House be able to plot against us."
He added, "We are not afraid of America or the economic problems. We will overcome the troubles."
Rouhani, a pragmatist who reduced tension with the West by striking a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, now faces a backlash from hardliners over Washington’s pullout from the pact.
Hardline elements in the parliament have pressed Rouhani to reshuffle his economic team to better shield the economy from Trump’s moves and tamp down public discontent.
Rouhani said the troubles began with anti-government protests in early January when many Iranians, angered by rising prices took to the streets, chanting slogans against the government and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"The protests tempted Trump to withdraw from the nuclear deal," he said, asking lawmakers to support his cabinet and not add to anti-government sentiment.
Although the economic problems were critical, Rouhani said, "More important than that is that many people have lost their faith in the future of the Islamic Republic and are in doubt about its power."
Lawmakers asked why the government had not adopted reforms in the financial sector and foreign exchange market, and sought an explanation why, more than two years after the nuclear deal, Iranian banks still had only limited access to global financial services.
Rouhani appointed a new central bank governor and accepted the government spokesman’s resignation, suggesting that he accepts the need to reshuffle his economic team.


Terror funding has ‘new face,’ warns Saudi Arabia's attorney general

Updated 20 February 2019
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Terror funding has ‘new face,’ warns Saudi Arabia's attorney general

  • Financial crimes a rising threat to global economy, MENA forum told

JEDDAH: The changing dynamics of terror financing and money laundering posed a growing problem for countries and organizations seeking to halt their spread, a regional conference in Cairo was warned.

Saudi Arabia's Attorney General Sheikh Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mua’jab told the first Middle East and North Africa conference on countering terrorism that new forms of transnational terror funding and money laundering demanded greater cooperation between states and organizations.

The conference, organized by the Egyptian Public Prosecution Office, aims to bolster international unity in the face of the escalating threat of terrorist financing and money laundering operations.

“Saudi Arabia has spared no effort in combating these two crimes,” Al-Mua’jab said.

He said money laundering and terror financing are at the “forefront of global criminal phenomena,” and often complemented each other.

“One of the most important steps the world has taken through its international and regional systems is to engage in initiatives and agreements to combat terrorism financing and money laundering as the artery of the criminal body that strikes the global economy,” he said.

“Saudi Arabia is a key partner in the international coalition against the so-called Daesh terrorist organization and leads, together with the US and Italy, the Counter Daesh Finance Group. It has also implemented laws and procedures aimed at combating money laundering and terrorist financing,” he said.

Al-Mua’jab said the September 2018 report of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Saudi Arabia had praised the Kingdom’s commitment to the recommendations of the group.

“Saudi Arabia has spared no effort in combating these two crimes,” he said. “It was one of the first countries in the world to be affected by terrorist acts. Its experience of combating the crimes has been exemplary.”

He said measures taken by the Kingdom included the 2017 “Law of Combating Crime and its Financing,” regulation of charities and the establishment of a standing committee to investigate money laundering.

The Kingdom’s Public Prosecution Office recently released a manual outlining steps to counter money laundering, including measures for seizure and confiscation, tracking of funds and details of international cooperation. 

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority has also issued a guidebook for Saudi banks to combat money laundering. 

A recent Saudi Cabinet meeting outlined strategic objectives for reducing the risks of the two crimes, he said.