‘EC members see no need to pass FATF-related bills’

September 1, 2019

TEHRAN – A member of the Expediency Council (EC) has said no need is felt among members of the council to pass FATF-related bills, including the Palermo and CFT bills.

Members of the Expediency Council have arrived at this conclusion that the council should first determine the results of Iran’s prior commitments to FATF and see if Tehran has benefited from them or not, Mehr quoted Mohammad Reza Bahonar as saying on Sunday during a press conference in Tehran.

“Currently, the Expediency Council sees no necessity to ratify Palermo and CFT bills. It also should be noted that we do not care about the four-month deadline of the FATF,” he stressed.

“We are also waiting to see whether Europeans, as they claim, are showing any determination in implementing their JCPOA commitments or not,” Bahonar added.

On June 21, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced its decision to continue the suspension of counter-measures against Iran, noting the country’s progress of legislative, anti-money laundering efforts. 

The financial watchdog went on to note, however, that “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.”

In October 2018, the Paris-based 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.

Then the FATF 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.

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.

MH/PA

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