MP criticizes FATF for ‘harsh tone’ against Iran

October 21, 2019 - 18:23

TEHRAN – A member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has criticized the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for taking a “harsh tone” toward Iran in its latest statement.

“The recent statement of the FATF demonstrates heavy political pressures in the Financial Action Task Force against Iran,” Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh said, ISNA reported on Monday.

“Since Iran is not in this group, hostile policies against the Islamic Republic of Iran has been formed,” he added.

The FATF said on Friday it had 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, according to Reuters.

“The FATF expects Iran to proceed swiftly in the reform path to ensure that it addresses all of the remaining items by completing and implementing the necessary Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing reforms.”

The statement’s tone provoked a backlash from Tehran, in part because in its previous statement in June, the body had praised Iran’s actions in line with reforms to counter money laundering, while extending the deadline until October.

Falahatpisheh said the FATF’s statement showed that a radical and powerful political movement is trying to threaten Iran.

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 parliament voted in favor of the CFT. However, the oversight Guardian Council rejected the bill by finding 22 faults with it, which put the fate of the bill on the hands of the Expediency Council.