Leader allows Expediency Council to proceed with work on FATF bills

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has approved the administration’s proposal for the extension of a process that authorizes the Expediency Council to review the remaining bills regarding the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements, a VP said.

Iranian Vice President for Legal Affair Laya Joneidi announced on Monday that Ayatollah Khamenei has agreed on the extension of work on reviewing the FATF bills.

In a recent letter to the Leader, the administration had put forward legal proposals to address a series of concerns of the Expediency Council’s members and has explicated Iran’s current action plan and a number of other developments, such as amendments to a series of recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force, she added.

Ayatollah Khamenei has approved the administration’s proposal for the extension of period for working on the remaining bills relating to the FATF commitments, and referred the case to the Expediency Council, Joneidi noted.

The FATF voted on February 21 to keep Iran on its blacklist for what it said failing to comply with international anti-terrorism financing norms.

In October 2019, Iran’s parliament approved four bills put forward by the government to meet standards set by the FATF.

Only two of them have so far gone into effect and the fate of the two others, one on Iran’s accession to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the other one a bill amending Iran’s Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) law, is still in limbo.

FATF’s proponents have said the measure would smooth the path for Iran’s increased financial transactions with the rest of the world and help remove the country from investment blacklists.

Opponents, however, say membership in the FATF will only make the country vulnerable to outside meddling.

They say Iran’s implementation of FATF standards so far has not only failed to attract investment, but it has also exposed various institutions to extraterritorial regulations and penalties.

The FATF cannot impose sanctions, but individual states that are its members have used the group’s reports to take punitive measures against their adversaries.

Iran has already been implementing a domestic anti-money laundering law as part of its efforts toward financial transparency. Additionally, it has long been combating terror financing.