Chief banker denies FATF ruling would impact Iran forex market

Press TV – The governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has ruled out speculations that a pending decision by an anti-money laundering watchdog would negatively impact the currency prices in the country.

Abdolnasser Hemmati said speculators were trying to benefit from an upcoming meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in which the body is to consider Iran’s efforts for complying with two of its conventions on terrorism financing.

Hemmati wrote in his Instagram page that the general situation of the forex market in Iran would remain unchanged even if the Paris-based FATF decides in its plenary meeting in the week of February 17 to restore Iran’s blacklist status after two years.

He said excessive US sanctions on Iran has already caused the country to opt for alternative banking mechanisms for currency exchange with the rest of the world.

“The upcoming FATF decision, be it an extension or non-extension (of suspension Iran’s blacklist status) could not have a significant impact on the currency situation of our country,” said Hemmati,

The CBI chief added that most of the reports suggesting that Iran’s currency rial would devalue after the FATF meeting are fabrications and inspired by profiteering and speculation in the market.

The Iranian government and parliament have approved all 39 but two recommendations of the FATF which are about terrorism financing. The FATF had given Iran until February to decide on the two conventions or face a blacklisting.

Iranian authorities have had their reservations about the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions, saying they could be misused by governments like the United States and others to pressure Iran politically.

Experts believe that the FATF may decide in its upcoming meeting to extend the suspensions granted to Iran for several more months.

They say a restoration of the blacklist status on Iran would mean that the organization has been influenced by the unfair American pressure on the Islamic republic.