Islamic Republic of Iran

UNODC Country Programme (2011-2014)

Sub-Programme 3: Crime, Justice and Corruption

 Sub-programme 3 of the Country Programme focuses on crime, justice and corruption, working towards the achievement of the following outcomes/outputs:

The aim of Sub-programme 3 is to enhance national capacities to tackle transnational organized crime, money laundering and corruption through the promotion of international standards and the facilitation of bilateral, regional and international exchange. Legislative, regulatory and institutional capacity building is being delivered in the areas related to the United Nations Convention against  Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), particularly on Anti-Money Laundering (AML), terrorism financing and Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA). In this respect, regional and international cooperation is facilitated and promoted through a UNODC initiative known as FIU to FIU programme, facilitating dialogue between the Iranian Financial Intelligence Unit and its counterparts in other countries. Sub-programme 3 will also facilitate a structured dialogue on criminal justice matters between the judicial authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and other countries. National efforts to establish an integrity-based, accountable and effective anti-corruption regime in line with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) are supported through technical cooperation in the areas of legislation, as well as capacity and institution building. Finally, an innovative initiative has been launched by UNODC in collaboration with national partners and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the objective of enhancing national capacities in countering trafficking in cultural properties, art and antiquities in line with UNTOC.


Major Achievements of Sub-Programme 3 ( 2011-  Mid 2014):


  • With UNODC's continued operational support and technical cooperation tailored for the national counterparts, the Iranian authorities have taken considerable steps forward in their fight against organized crime:


-          The legislative bill for ratification of UNTOC was submitted to Parliament by the Cabinet of Ministers in December 2013, which is a significant step forward in the ratification of this instrument. UNODC has been advocating the ratification of UNTOC and accession to its additional Protocols through regular trainings and briefings for the relevant experts and practitioners to increase the level of their knowledge of the role and the significance of the Convention and its legal tools in fighting transnational organized crime. Such trainings have contributed to legislative and institutional capacity-building and covered a number of topics related to the fight against transnational organized crime, including inter-alia: international judicial cooperation, including Mutual Legal Assistance, alternatives to imprisonment, protection of witnesses and victims of crime, legal aid, and human trafficking.


-          The new law on Criminal Rules of Procedures (including witness and victim protection) was adopted in March 2014.


-          The Bill on Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) was introduced by Parliament in 2012.


  • National capacities in the areas of AML and CFT were improved through cooperation between Iran's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and its counterparts in a number of countries under the FIU to FIU Programme, launched by UNODC Iran in 2011.


  • In the area of anti-corruption measures, UNODC has been supporting national efforts to establish an accountable and effective anti-corruption regime, in line with UNCAC:


-          Under the Mechanism for the Review of Implementation of UNCAC, UNODC Iran provided technical support in 2012 to the relevant authorities in their review of the Self-Assessment of Bangladesh, and for the submission of Iran's own Self-Assessment for Chapters 3 (Criminalization and Law Enforcement) and 4 (International Cooperation)  of the Convention. UNODC Iran also played an active role in facilitating the Country Visit to Iran by experts from Indonesia and Belarus, as well as UNODC Secretariat staff, conducted under the Review Mechanism. 17 national offices were visited and over 50 senior authorities were met during the visit, which took place from 20 to 24 May 2013. Based on the final report on the Self-Assessment, the Country visit, and the identification of needs, the national authorities will assess the possibilities of developing a national action plan against corruption.


-          National legislation was enacted in line with UNCAC in 2012, e.g. the bylaws on Promotion of Administrative Integrity and Combating Corruption, International Cooperation, and the Revised Islamic Penal Code.


-          A large number of officials and experts from the relevant authorities have been familiarized with several aspects of UNCAC implementation through specialized workshops and national meetings organized by UNODC Iran, in coordination with UNODC HQ and the national counterparts. The workshops and meetings have covered a number of issues related to UNCAC implementation and relevant international standards and best practices, with the aim of assisting to build legislative and institutional capacity in the field of countering corruption. Some topics covered in these events are: international judicial cooperation; investigation, documentation and processing corruption cases; and witness and victim protection.


-          With UNODC Iran facilitation, the relevant Iranian authorities have been actively participating in the key meetings and events related to UNCAC, such as the Conference of the States Parties to UNCAC and the Inter-sessional Meetings of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Groups on: Asset Recovery, Prevention of Corruption, and Review of Implementation of UNCAC.


  • In 2011, UNODC launched an innovative initiative to support the Islamic Republic of Iran in countering trafficking in cultural property, art and antiquities and protecting its cultural heritage, in close collaboration with the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO). Under this initiative, a national Expert Task Force was established in 2012, with UNODC Iran as one of the members. The Task Force has since set the national priorities in the 3 main areas of Regulations, Advocacy, and Law-Enforcement and formed thematic groups to work on them. It has also initiated the Culture to Culture (CTC) Programme, with UNODC support, to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the field of cultural property.


UNODC has been organizing activities with the aim of empowering the key stakeholders involved in countering cultural property trafficking through facilitating exposure to relevant best practices worldwide, and providing opportunities for strengthening international cooperation in the area of cultural property. Some examples are:


-          A visit for a Turkish delegation composed of experts from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and INTERPOL (Division on Organized Crime and Trafficking in Cultural Property) to Iran in August 2014, which included several meetings with the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO); Customs Organization; and INTERPOL Tehran. This visit was organized in response to an earlier study visit by an expert Iranian delegation to Ankara, Turkey, in December 2013 as part of the UNODC Iran Country Programme.


-          The "Meeting of Judges: Case-Study of Crimes against Cultural Property", which was held in May 2014 with the participation of international experts /prosecutors from Italy, Iranian judges, and experts from the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO). The meeting provided a platform for the discussion of the two countries' legal, regulatory, and judicial mechanisms for fighting against trafficking in cultural property, as well as reviewing relevant case studies.


-          A Workshop on the Registration and Recovery of Cultural Property, with the participation of experts from Iran, Italy and Turkey, which was organized in Tehran in July 2013.


-          A seminar for students of the Iranian Police Academy to expose them to best international practices in cultural property protection, with the participation of experts from the Italian Special Police Force for Protection of Cultural Property (Carabinieri), which was held in Tehran in July 2013.


  • UNODC Iran has been enhancing regional collaboration on legal matters, particularly on illicit money flows, and contributing to the implementation of the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries. The Country Office has been lending its support to the organization of regional/sub-regional events and to the engagement and active participation by the Iranian authorities in the relevant regional initiatives and fora. Some key examples include:


-          The Regional FIU to FIU Meetings among the West and Central Asian Countries, the most recent of which was the Ninth Regional FIU to FIU Meeting, held in March 2014 in Tehran.


-          The Triangular Meetings among the FIUs of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, the most recent of which was held in Tehran in March 2014.


-          The workshop on "Illicit Use of Money or Value Transfer Services (MVTS): Enhancing Legislative, Regulatory and Investigative Frameworks", which was held in Tehran in March 2014.


-          The Regional Computer-Based Trainings (CBT) on AML/CFT, the most recent of which was the Third Regional CBT, held in Tehran in July 2013.


-          The Regional Workshop on International and Regional Cooperation to Combat Cybercrime, which was held in Tehran in August 2013.


-          The Second Regional Meeting on Trafficking and Smuggling Routes, which was held in Ankara in August 2013.


-          Two Regional Workshops on International Cooperation in Asset Recovery and Confiscation of Illicit Assets Originating from Drug Production and Trafficking for the Countries in West and Central Asia (Tehran, October 2012 and Islamabad, Pakistan, September 2013).


-          The Regional Workshop on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters, which was held in Vienna in May 2012.


-          The First Meeting of the General Prosecutors/Attorney Generals of the West and Central Asia countries, which was held in Vienna in December 2012 in the framework of the Regional Programme.


  • UNODC Iran has been supporting Iran's engagement in international cooperation on detecting and blocking financial flows linked to illicit traffic in opiates under the Paris Pact. UNODC Iran facilitated the active participation of the relevant Iranian experts in a number of meetings under this framework, such as the Expert Working Group on Illicit Financial Flows Deriving from the Trafficking of Opiates Originating in Afghanistan, which was held in Vienna, Austria, in April 2014, and the Tri-Fold Expert Working Group on Cross-Border Cooperation and Legal Framework, Precursors and Financial Flows, held in The Hague, the Netherlands, in February 2013.