Economy Ministry reacts to gov’t critics claims against FATF

IRNA – Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance has said that comments made by a former lawmaker against adoption of the action plan of the Financial Action Task Force were “unfounded, irresponsible and result of his lack of due knowledge” about FATF.

In a statement released on Saturday, the ministry reacted to the comments made by Mahmoud Nabavian, a former lawmaker and a critic of the landmark nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Nabavian had claimed that by adopting the FATF’s action plan by the Iranian government means that it has admitted that a number of the country’s officials are terrorists.

What was in the agenda of the FATF action plan as the examples of terrorist individuals and groups was those named in the resolutions of the UN Security Council not those mentioned in the list of the US Treasury Department, [as claimed by the former lawmaker], said the statement.

“Names of the Iranian officials and commanders are not included in the UN Security Council Resolutions,” stressed the ministry statement.

It was clearly and explicitly mentioned in the text of the FATF agreement, signed by all its members and Iran, that the action plan would be implemented within the framework of Iran’s Constitutions and its Article 154.

The Article 154 of Iran ‘s Constitutions reads: “The Islamic Republic of Iran has as its ideal human felicity throughout human society, and considers the attainment of independence, freedom, and rule of justice and truth to be the right of all people of the world. Accordingly, while scrupulously refraining from all forms of interference in the internal affairs of other nations, it supports the just struggles of the Mustad’afun (oppressed) against the Mustakbirun (oppressors) in every corner of the globe.”

Meanwhile, on May 31, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reacted to Nabavian’s claim saying that he has to apologize for what he said.

Zarif described the surprising assertions of the hard-liner lawmaker’s as ‘shameful’ stressing that the former would sue him if he failed to apologize for his claims.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

FATF is therefore a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.

According to its official website, In June 2016, FATF welcomed Iran’s adoption of, and high-level political commitment to, an Action Plan to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, and its decision to seek technical assistance in the implementation of the Action Plan.

According to the agreement, Iran will remain on the FATF Public Statement until the full Action Plan has been completed.