US senators call on FATF to keep Iran on body’s blacklist

ILNA: Eight American senators, afraid of Iran’s successful economic diplomacy, have called on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to keep Tehran on the body’s blacklist.

The senators called for such a thing in a letter sent on June 30, 2016, to the US Department of Treasury.

The FATF issued a statement on June 24, 2016, suspending Iran in the list of its uncooperative countries. This came as the result of numerous actions taken by the Iranian government, parliament and judiciary in the past few years like adopting laws against financing terrorism and other actions which legally bounded Iran to take action to eliminate shortcomings of the body’s existing anti-money laundering policies and its decision to seek assistance with implementation.

According to the FATF (the independent body responsible for setting global standards for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT)), Iran will remain on the body’s blacklist until the full implementation is complete. Moreover, if it fails to demonstrate ‘sufficient progress’ at the end of the yearlong suspension, the restrictions will be re-imposed.

‘International financial institutions should not embolden Iran’s illegal activities that threaten the national security of the US and our allies, particularly our major strategic partner Israel – the target of much of Iran’s terrorist financing in the region,’ the senators have claimed in their letter.

‘As the US Department of the Treasury represents the United States at FATF, we urge you to address these concerns with FATF and prevent any further attempts to reintegrate Iran into the international banking system, until Iran eliminates its entrenched practice of financing terrorism,’ the letter went on to say.

Meanwhile, in the positive atmosphere that has been created after Iran’s nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA) with the world powers, the foreign banks and the international financial bodies are moving towards having interaction with Iran.

Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Mark Warner (D-VA), are those who joined Senator Blumenthal in sending the letter.