FATF gives Iran until October to complete reforms

June 22, 2019

TEHRAN - The Financial Action Task Force announced on Friday that Iran has until October to complete reforms that would bring it into line with global norms or face consequences.

The FATF praised Iran’s actions in line with reforms to counter money laundering, according to IRNA.

However, it said that the FATF can only consider laws which are approved completely. 

The Paris-based body 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.

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.

Majid Ansari, a member of the Expediency Council, said in May that the Expediency Council is studying the CFT and Palermo bill.

“The CFT and Palermo should be studied in the related committee and after that be sent to the Majlis,” Ansari told IRNA Plus in an interview.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in March that it is essential to approve the 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 the 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.

Bahram Qassemi, the former spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, said in March that it is necessary that economic experts help members of the Expediency Council in their decision on joining the 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.

NA/PA

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