On Wednesday, October 23rd, Mahmoud Vaezi, chief of staff to the Islamic regime president Hassan Rouhani, made a surprise announcement that a “special council” chaired by Rouhani, the speaker of the Islamic Parliament (Majles) and Ebrahim Raisi, the head of the regime’s judiciary, had approved the Palermo Convention and the Convention on Combatting Terrorism Financing.

The two conventions are key anti-corruption and anti-terrorism treaties that the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has demanded Tehran ratify in order to conduct business with foreign companies and governments. Last week, the regime’s Expediency Council rejected ratification of the two treaties, on the grounds that it would hurt the regime’s tactics of skirting the US sanctions placed against it.

However, soon after Vaezi’s statement, a spokesman for the judiciary declared that Vaezi had been “untruthful” and that the treaties had not been ratified, or even discussed by any special council.

The dueling statements come amidst growing internal turmoil within the regime, as competing factions scurry for power and more wealth as Iran’s economy and infrastructure slowly collapse. Rouhani is said to wish to succeed the aging regime supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, but he is opposed by other elements of the regime, most notably the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Rouhani has bet his chances of success on presenting himself as the man who “ended the regime’s isolation from the world” but after the accession of Donald Trump to the American presidency and the failure of the JCPOA ruse, Rouhani’s position has been on the decline. Thus, he is desperate to try any stunt to make it look as if his policies are being accomplished.

Last Friday, the FATF extended Iran’s deadline to comply with ratifying the two international treaties to February of next year. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also brought public pressure on the regime to approve them.

Khamenei has of yet not made a definitive public statement on the issue. In the past, he rejected the treaties at first, but then changed his mind and said he would accede to whatever Rouhani proposes. Observers believe Khamenei’s strategy is try to give the appearance of moving towards compliance in order to get the FATF to keep giving the regime more extensions to the deadline.

Source » thefreeiranian