MP says joining FATF will benefit economy

November 19, 2019 - 16:20

TEHRAN – Jalal Mahmoudzadeh, an MP representing Mahabad in the parliament, said on Tuesday that joining the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will reduce effects of sanctions and help economic interaction.

“Foreign investment will increase and economic interaction will expand if Iran joins this international body,” he told IRNA.

Mahmoudzadeh noted, “Iran has financial transparency and do not provide terrorists with money. So, there will be no harm to join this institution.”

The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said on October 18 that it has given Iran a final deadline of February 2020 to tighten its laws against money laundering in compliance with the global watchdog’s financial standards.

“If before February 2020, Iran does not enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards, then the FATF will fully lift the suspension of counter-measures and call on its members and urge all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures, in line with recommendation 19,” the FATF said in a statement, Reuters reported.

The general consensus in the Expediency Council is against approving the FATF.

Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moghadam, a member of the Expediency Council, told ISNA in an interview published on October 14 that the council has set aside studies to approve bills related to the FATF.

“Palermo and CFT will help the United States to identify the ways we circumvent the sanctions. We will not tighten sanctions by our own hands,” Mesbahi-Moghadam remarked.

One of the actions Iran is required to take to appease the FATF is to ratify the CFT, the convention combatting the financing of terrorism.

Talking in a cabinet meeting on October 23, President Hassan Rouhani called on the Expediency Council to approve FATF related bills.

“It is our pride that we fight terrorists and counter corruption, therefore we should not allow allegations of money laundering against our banking system,” Rouhani stated.

He added, “This hurts our country.”

Mahmoud Vaezi, the presidential chief of staff, said on October 30 that Iran should use the opportunity to join the FATF in order to avoid self-inflicted sanctions.

He said those inside Iran who oppose joining the FATF should accept the responsibility for their actions.

NA/PA

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