After the meeting of its members, the international group that monitors world wide money laundering said that it was disappointed that Tehran had acted on only nine out of 10 of its guidelines, despite its pledges to make sure it was complete.
After chairing the FATF meeting, Marshall Billingslea, the U.S. assistant Treasury Secretary for terrorist financing said, “We expect Iran to move swiftly to implement the commitments that it undertook at a high level so long ago.” He explained, “In line with that, we expect that it will have adopted all of these measures by February. If by February 2019 Iran has not yet done so, then we will take further steps,” he added.
FATF said it had decided to continue suspending counter-measures, which can go as far as limiting or even banning transactions with a country, in the meantime.
Under pressure to adopt international standards, Iran’s parliament approved some new measures against funding terrorism earlier this month. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet of presented four bills to the Iran’s Majlis (parliament):
– The Anti-Money Laundering Law Reform Bill
– The Anti-Terrorism Financing Law Reform Bill
– The International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism Supplementary Bill
– The Convention against Transnational Organized Crime Supplementary Bill
The Iranian parliament, after much in-fighting, approved a bill agreeing to adopt the Combating the Financing of Terrorism standards. It is considered to be the most important step for Tehran to eventually join the FATF. However, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who makes all the final decisions in Iran, specifically said that he opposes the CFT, and FATF said that it could only consider fully enacted legislation.
Tehran had already been given until this month to bring its laws against money-laundering and funding of terrorism up to its guidelines, or risk being returned to a blacklist of non-compliant countries that makes foreign investors and banks reluctant to deal with it.
While Britain, France, attempt to keep some financial channels open to Iran after the United States exited the 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions, analysts say that inclusion on the FATF’s blacklist could effectively make that impossible.