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Iranian MPs pass anti-terror funding bill despite death threats

Iran has taken an important step in gaining access to the international banking system.
A view shows the swearing-in ceremony for Iranian president Hassan Rouhani for a further term, at the parliament in Tehran, Iran, August 5, 2017. Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi/TIMA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC18FF0579A0

Iran's parliament addressed one of the country's most contested issues Oct. 7, approving a bill against the funding of terrorism. Such a measure is a precondition to be removed from the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The bill's supporters believe the measure will help ease the impact of US sanctions, giving Iran more access to international banks and helping it achieve greater financial transparency. Critics, however, argue that Iran has given up its independence and is once again looking to Western countries to resolve its economic problems at home.

The FATF measures as a whole have been a hot topic in Iran over past years. Parliament debated this counterterrorism financing bill for four months, before 143 parliamentarians voted in favor, with 120 against and five abstaining. There are a total of 290 seats in parliament. The conservative-dominated Guardian Council must still approve the bill before it becomes law. 

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