The global anti-money laundering body, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), on Friday gave Iran until June to come into compliance with anti-terror financial measures or said it will face tougher financial oversight.
“While welcoming the passage [by Iran] of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the FATF expresses its disappointment that the Action Plan remains outstanding and expects Iran to proceed swiftly in the reform path to ensure that it addresses all of the remaining items,” a statement by the FATF said.
“If by June 2019, Iran does not enact the remaining legislation in line with FATF Standards, then the FATF will require increased supervisory examination for branches and subsidiaries of financial institutions based in Iran,” said the statement.
In January, Iran passed some new measures for countering terror financing, but the country still is having internal disagreements about finalizing certain other measures which FATF has been pressing Tehran on in recent years.
Moreover, “The FATF also expects Iran to continue to progress with enabling regulations and other amendments. Iran will remain on the FATF Public Statement until the full Action Plan has been completed.”
“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,” said the statement.
In addition, the FATF called “on its members and urges all jurisdictions to continue to advise their financial institutions to apply enhanced due diligence with respect to business relationships and transactions with natural and legal persons from Iran,” including “(1) obtaining information on the reasons for intended transactions; and (2) conducting enhanced monitoring of business relationships.”
Iran’s accession to FATF has been the subject of heated debates in recent months.
Opponents believe FATF would limit Iran’s ability to support allies in the region, some of whom recognized as terrorist entities by the US and some of its allies.
This is while proponents of Iran joining FATF fear Iran’s inclusion on the body’s blacklist could make it impossible to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal following the US withdrawal.