Zarif highlights necessity of joining FATF

March 3, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that it is essential to approve the bills to join the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Mehrdad Lahouti, the spokesman of the Majlis Independent Velayee faction, said that during a meeting of the faction with the foreign minister, Zarif expressed hope that the Expediency Council would approve bill to join the FATF.

Zarif said on February 24 that the Expediency Council should decide on the FATF based on the “realities”.

“Our friends should decide based on realities. So far, they have said that nothing will happen but they are now seeing the situation,” Zarif remarked.

The Paris-based FATF watchdog announced on February 22 that Iran has until June to fix its anti-money laundering and terrorism financing rules or face increased international scrutiny of its banks.

In October 2018, the global watchdog had given Iran until February to complete an action plan of reforms that would bring it in line with global norms, or face consequences.

The FATF concluded at its February 22 meeting that “there are still items not completed” and said in a statement it “expects Iran to proceed swiftly in the reform path”, according to Reuters.

One of the actions Iran is required to take to appease the FATF is joining the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), which is also called the Palermo Convention, a 2000 United Nations-sponsored multilateral treaty against transnational organized crime.

The other action is to ratify the CFT (the convention combatting financing of terrorism).

On October 7, 2018, the Majlis (parliament) voted in favor of the CFT. However, the oversight Guardian Council rejected the bill by finding 22 faults with it.

To become a law, the Guardian Council should vet the bill for compliance with the Constitution.

In cases when the parliament and the Guardian Council disagree on a bill, the issue is referred to the Expediency Council for final arbitration. The bill is now under study by the Expediency Council.

NA/PA

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