Iranian Parliament Passes Bill to Join UN Convention Against Organized Crime

The Iranian Parliament passed a bill that had been submitted to them four years ago and is aimed at joining the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. The resolution is the main international instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime, Financial Tribune reported.

The bill was overwhelmingly passed as 132 of the 226 MPs present voted in favor, while 80 voted against and 10 abstained. The bill contains sections dealing with Iran’s stance on several articles written in the original convention. According to a section cited by ILNA, Iran will interpret articles 2, 3, 5, 10 and 23 of the convention based on its internal laws and regulations and will implement them. The terms used in the convention are defined in Article 2. Article 3 outlines its scope of application, while Article 5 deals with the criminalization of participation in an organized criminal group. Article 10 outlines the liability of legal persons and Article 23 criminalizes the obstruction of justice.

According to the bill that has been approved, Iran doesn’t consider itself bound to the contents of Clause 2 of Article 35 of the UN convention. Article 35 deals with the settlement of potential disputes, while Clause 2 stated that any dispute between state members connected to the implementation or application of the convention, that cannot be settled through negotiation, is subject to arbitration. The clause also says that if those state parties are not able to agree on the organization of the arbitration half a year after the date of the request for arbitration, some of them may refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice. That is supposed to be done by request in accordance with the Statute of the Court.

“Referring a dispute to arbitration or ICC in relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran is only possible by adhering to the IRI Constitution,” the Iranian bill reads.

Lawmakers added another section in the bill, which says that Iran will decide on issues related to the contents of article 15 (that deals with jurisdiction), article 16 (that is centered on extradition) and article 18. This last article extensively details mutual legal assistance. According to a clause that is part of this article, each State Party shall designate a central authority that shall have the responsibility and authority to receive requests for mutual legal assistance either to execute them or to transmit them to the competent authorities for execution. Speaking about this clause, the lawmakers said that the respective central authority will be designated by a decree issued by the Cabinet.

The UN convention is supplemented by three specialized protocols: the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; the Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and the Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition.

If they want to become parties to any of the protocols, the countries must join the convention first.