Terrorism financing watchdog reinstates Iran sanctions



Iran's President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech presenting the Islamic republic's new budget for the financial year starting late March 2020. On February 21st, the FATF reinstated sanctions against Iran saying it has not taken sufficient measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorist groups.[STR/AFP]

A multinational financial watchdog reinstated sanctions against Iran on Friday (February 21st), saying the Islamic republic has not taken sufficient measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorist groups.

In a statement issued after a meeting in Paris, the 38-nation Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced it was lifting a sanctions suspension it granted in 2016 to give Iran time to work on reforms.

Given "Iran's failure to enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards, the FATF fully lifts the suspension of counter-measures", the body said, referring to the UN's 2001 convention against organised crime.

It also called on FATF members and "all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures".

Iran is alone with North Korea on the agency's blacklist.

Last month, an Iranian arbitration body gave its approval to an anti-money laundering bill seen as crucial to maintaining international trade and banking ties.

The government of President Hassan Rouhani said the laws were needed to meet demands set by the FATF.

The FATF said Friday that it would keep Iran on a "high risk jurisdictions list", and will decide on next steps "if Iran ratifies the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions, in line with the FATF standards."

"Until Iran implements the measures required to address the deficiencies identified with respect to countering terrorism-financing... the FATF will remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system," it said.

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