FATF extends deadline for Iran to June

TEHRAN, Feb. 22 (MNA) – The global watchdog FATF has welcomed Iran's measures to strengthen its anti-money laundering legislation, giving the country an extended June deadline to complete the reforms.

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) watchdog said on Friday that it has extended Iran's deadline to June to strengthen its anti-money laundering legislation.

Reuters quoted the body as adding that financial institutions operating in Iran would face 'increased international scrutiny', if the country fails to take those measures before the extended deadline.

Last October, the FATF had given Iran until February to complete financial reforms in order to get off the global watchdog's blacklist and avoid the body's punitive measures.

The FATF concluded this week at a meeting that “there are still items not completed” and said in a statement it “expects Iran to proceed swiftly in the reform path”.

“If by June 2019, Iran does not enact the remaining legislation in line with FATF Standards, then the FATF will require increased supervisory examination for branches and subsidiaries of financial institutions based in Iran,” it said.

Iran has already ratified two of the amendment bills on the country’s domestic laws regarding money laundering and terrorism financing. But the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, known as Palermo Convention in Iran, as well as the bill on Iran’s accession to the convention against the funding of terrorism (CFT), are the two controversial bills undergoing intensive reviews in the Expediency Council for the final verdict.

Meanwhile, new concerns have risen among Iranian officials regarding the FATF and EU’s trade mechanism for Iran, known as INSTEX.

Some officials are concerned that EU would pressure Iran into joining FATF as a condition for implementing the trade mechanism to facilitate trade with the country in the face of US sanctions.

Iran says the two issues are completely separate and must not be linked together.

Guardian Council Spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodaei said a few days ago that the Palermo and CFT bills, which have already gained the approval of Iranian Parliament but have been rejected by Guardian Council, are likely to be approved by the mediating body Expediency Council.

MS

News Code 142766

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