FATF

Iran’s cooperation with FATF to increase impact of sanctions

IFP – The conservative newspaper Kayhan has harshly criticized the Iranian government’s plan to implement the regulations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), saying such cooperation would just make more effective the US sanctions on Iran. 

The Iranian Parliament is reviewing a bill proposed by the government on the country’s full accession to the FATF, an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 to develop policies to combat money laundering.

However, Kayhan has quoted a report by Iran Technology Analysts Network (ITAN) as saying that Tehran’s current cooperation with the FATF has created a vicious circle which only enhances the impact of the US’ sanctions on Iran without providing the country with any tangible achievement.

The report titled ‘An Analytical Look at Iran-FATF Interactions’ has addressed the cooperation between Iran and FATF from different viewpoints.

“Despite earlier predictions by the Iranian officials, Iran’s international relations never returned to normal following the implementation of the JCPOA in the early days of 2016. According to Iranian economic and monetary officials, the FATF’s blacklisting of Iran was the main obstacle hampering the normalization process. So, to remove Iran’s name from the list, the Islamic Republic began to establish a better cooperation with the FATF from February 2016 to July 2017. The JCPOA is among the main fruits of the cooperation,” the report said.

According to Kayhan, the report also underlined that the US has weaponized international financial relations to inflict blows on certain states and organizations and to hamper their inter-banking relations.

“Iran has been the main victim of this weaponization since 2010 and an economic war was waged against the country,” the ITAN report reads.

Kayhan went on to say that the FATF played a key role in pressing ahead with an economic war against Iran through weaponization of international financial relations.

“This means that FAFT is not only a technical body but a special organization tasked with carrying out a special mission to advance the US foreign policy,” Kayhan added.

ITAN report also said despite the FATF’s decision to suspend anti-Iran measures over the past one and a half years in the wake of the JCPOA implementation, the country is still struggling with banking problems without any improvement made so far.

“This reveals that Iran’s presence in the blacklist of FATF is the main obstacle to resolving the inter-banking problems of Iran. The US’ latest sanctions as well as the presence of a number of Iranian individuals and organizations in the black list serve as the main elements hampering the normalization process,” Kayhan added.

Because of the two obstacles, Iran is paying a heavy price for its cooperation with FATF, according to the report.

“The more Iran tries to become more transparent to lessen the risks of its cooperation with FATF, the more US would expand the scope of its sanctions to include other Iranian individuals and organizations in order to enhance the impact of its sanctions and neutralize Iran’s transparency effects.”

Meanwhile, the newspaper wrote the US is seeking to increase the price of violation of the sanctions for Iran through passing laws like KATSA or labeling more Iranian organizations as terrorist.

“It goes without saying that this is a vicious circle of cooperation which not only does not serve the national interests of Iranians but also enhances the impact of the US latest sanctions on them,” Kayhan concluded.