Passing FATF bills to hamper sanctions' circumvention: MP

TEHRAN, Dec. 29 (MNA) – A member of the Iranian Parliament says the implementation of the remaining bills mandated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will make circumventing the US sanctions more difficult.

“At a time that our banking system is under the harshest US sanctions, the implementation of the FATF recommendations will hamper our ways to circumvent the sanctions,” Behrouz Mohebbi Najm-Abadi told Mehr News Agency on Tuesday.

The lawmaker, who is also a member of the Parliament's Planning and Budget Commission, said, "Implementing the FATF bills will bear serious consequences for the country.”

He said while the “government claims that the convention is aimed at combating money laundering,” many neighboring countries, that are grappling with serious financial corruption, do not comply with the FATF rules.

He said, “The Parliament and the Guardian Council are against the FATF. And this issue will be discussed in the Expediency Council.”

The Guardian Council is a watchdog that ensures laws are in line with the Islamic Republic Constitution and Sharia; the Expediency Council is Iran’s top legislation vetting body.

“At the present time, financial institutions based in neighboring countries, including banks, exchange offices and private companies, are helping Iran to circumvent the sanctions," Mohebbi said, warning that the implementation of the FATF bills will provide information to the United States and the other sanctions leaders and could hamper such transactions.

He said approving the bills will undermine many sectors, including the oil sales and the currency value.

Earlier in December, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei approved a government request to extend the deadline for discussions on the two remaining bills mandated by the global anti-money laundering body.

Last February the global anti-money laundering watchdog lifted the suspension of counter-measures on Iran and called on its members and all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures against the country.

The Iranian government has been striving in recent weeks to have the remaining bills endorsed by Iran’s Expediency Council, with the optimism that the US economic siege may end when US president-elect Joe Biden takes office in the coming days.

Senior government officials have often stressed that removing Iran from the FATF blacklist will ease the process to counter US economic terrorism.

MR/5107864

News Code 167800

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