FATF decides to continue keeping Iran off the blacklist

TEHRAN, Jun. 22 (MNA) – The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in a recent meeting decided to continue the suspension of counter-measures against Iran, noting the country’s progress of legislative, anti-money laundering efforts.

The FATF decided at its meeting this week to continue the suspension of counter-measures against Iran, according to a statement released by the financial watchdog on June 21.

The statement lauds Iran for the progress of its legislative efforts including the establishment of a cash declaration regime in 2017, enactment of amendments to its Counter-Terrorist Financing Act in 2018, and enactment of amendments to its Anti-Money Laundering Act in 2019.

The global watchdog, however, has called on Iran to ratify bills on the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions, which have passed Parliament, but are not yet in force.

“Once the remaining legislation comes fully into force, the FATF will review this alongside the enacted legislation to determine whether the measures contained therein address Iran’s Action Plan, in line with the FATF standards,” the statement notes.

“If by October 2019, Iran does not enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards, then the FATF will require introducing enhanced relevant reporting mechanisms or systematic reporting of financial transactions; and increased external audit requirements for financial groups with respect to any of their branches and subsidiaries located in Iran. The FATF also expects Iran to continue to progress with enabling regulations and other amendments,” the statement adds.

Iran will remain on the FATF Public Statement until the full Action Plan has been completed, says FATF.

Voices inside Iran are divided on the ratification of the two remaining controversial bills. While the Parliament and the Rouhani administration have been more or less in favor of joining the FATF by ratifying the CFT and Palermo bills, the Guardian Council and Expediency Council have their own concerns.

A member of the Expediency Council, Hossein Mozaffar, said that “the kind of transparency that FATF seeks in the Palermo bill is to find out our ways for bypassing sanctions. For a country under sanctions, it is a very unwise move to show our hands and let them see and block all our strategies.”

He also said that those in favor of joining the FATF had failed to come up with a strong argument as to why joining the body would be economically beneficial to Iran.

According to him, the final verdict will be cast on the two bills before the FATF’s June deadline runs out.

MS/IRN83363463

News Code 146722

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