FATF may extend deadline for Iran: VP Joneydi

MNA – Iranian Vice-President for Legal Affairs Laya Joneydi said Iran’s joining the Financial Action Task Force is not off the table yet, adding that the FATF may extend its Feb. deadline for Iran to join the body.

“There is a possibility that the deadline would be extended,” Iranian Vice-President for Legal Affairs Laya Joneydi told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

She said some remarkable steps have been taken by the government to amend anti-money laundering laws, adding that “in this current situation where we need to maintain our banking transactions,” joining the FATF is not yet out of the question.

Meanwhile, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnaser Hemmati, said Wednesday that joining the FATF would be beneficial to Iran.

“Joining the FATF will benefit us. All other countries have already joined, and we do not wish to be on the body’s blacklist,” he added.

Iran has already ratified two of the amendment bills on the country’s domestic laws regarding money laundering and terrorism financing. But the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, known as Palermo Convention in Iran, as well as the bill on Iran’s accession to the convention against the funding of terrorism (CFT), are the two controversial bills undergoing intensive reviews in the Expediency Council for the final verdict.

Meanwhile, new concerns have risen among Iranian officials regarding the FATF and EU’s trade mechanism for Iran, known as INSTEX.

Some officials are concerned that EU would pressure Iran into joining FATF as a condition for implementing the trade mechanism to facilitate trade with the country in the face of US sanctions.

Iran says the two issues are completely separate and must not be linked together.