Financial Tribune – Financial Action Task Force, the global anti-money laundering watchdog on Friday put Iran on its blacklist after Tehran failed to comply with international anti-terrorism funding norms.
This came after Iran failed to meet the deadline set the by the watchdog at FATF’s last meeting in October to fully comply with FATF standards. FATF had then given Iran a final deadline to comply with international norms after which “it would urge all its members to apply countermeasures”.
“The FATF fully lifts the suspension of counter-measures and calls on its members and urges all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures,” the watchdog said in a statement published on its website Friday.
Reacting to the global watchdog decision, Abdolnasser Hemmati, the Central Bank of Iran’s Governor, discounted the FATF move, saying “it won’t pose any obstacle to Iran’s foreign trade and stability in currency rates”.
According to FATF, Iran will remain on the FATF statement on [High Risk Jurisdictions Subject to a Call for Action] until the full Action Plan has been completed. If Iran ratifies the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions, in line with the FATF standards, the FATF will decide on the next steps, including whether to suspend countermeasures.
“Until Iran implements the measures required to address the deficiencies identified with respect to countering terrorism-financing in the Action Plan, the FATF will remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system”.
The FATF said in the statement that it has recognized the progress of Iran’s legislative efforts to implement anti-money laundering and countering financing terrorism polices.
Progress in 2016
In June 2016, the FATF welcomed Iran’s high-level political commitment to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, and its decision to seek technical assistance in the implementation of the Action Plan.
Since 2016, Iran established a cash declaration regime, enacted amendments to its Counter-Terrorist Financing Act and its Anti-Money Laundering Act, and adopted an AML by-law.
In February 2020, the FATF noted that there are still items not completed and Iran should fully address, including “ratifying and implementing the Palermo and TF Conventions and clarifying the capability to provide mutual legal assistance”, “ensuring an adequate and enforceable customer due diligence regime”, ”demonstrating how authorities are identifying and sanctioning unlicensed money/value transfer service providers” and “ensuring that financial institutions verify that wire transfers contain complete originator and beneficiary information”.
The watchdog has allowed member countries to apply appropriate countermeasures when called upon to do so by the FATF. “Countries should also be able to apply countermeasures independently of any call by the FATF to do so. Such countermeasures should be effective and proportionate to the risks”.