It is essential experts help Expediency Council in decision on FATF: Foreign Ministry official

March 6, 2019

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday that it is necessary that economic experts help members of the Expediency Council in their decision on joining the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

“It is essential that all experts fulfill their national duty and help the Expediency Council’s members take the best decision that guarantees the country’s national security and interests,” he told IRNA.

He noted that the Foreign Ministry does not have a factional view on the issue.

“We seek to enjoy the least of banking and financial interactions and there is no choice but accepting certain standards which have been accepted by all the countries except for one or two,” he said.

He noted that approving the FATF does not mean that all the economic problems will be solved overnight, however, he said that refusing to accept it will definitely cause more problems.

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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