Iran missed a February deadline to comply with the rules of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and have now been given an extension until June, but that’s not exactly great news. Let us explain.
This new deadline set by FAFT is Iran’s last chance to comply. If the Regime does not approve the passage of those bills in time, it will be blacklisted automatically and from the article title (“A Four-Month Deadline for Iran to Surrender”) of a state-run paper reporting on the deadline, it’s clear how the Regime feels.
FAFT conditions require the passage of four bills:
• Counter financing of terrorism Law
• AML (anti-money laundering)
• Amendment to join CFT (counter financing for terrorism)
• Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
The regime’s Guardian Council, which vets all laws against the Regime’s so-called Islamic values, still needs to approve the final two and the fact that they haven’t show a decision-making crisis within the Regime.
Marshall Billingslea, US assistant Treasury Secretary for terrorist financing and the current chair of FATF, explained that countermeasures will automatically kick in if Iran does not pass the measures before June and there will be no negotiation.
He said: “That is a significant indication from the FATF that time has expired, the action plan is overdue and we expect it to be implemented without delay. FATF members worldwide would be required to step up supervision of Iranian bank branches on their territory, including on-site inspections.”
He also laid seven conditions that the Regime must comply with, which are normal procedures for all FAFT member states. However, the Regime will find it difficult to comply; after all, they were ranked first in the world for highest risk of money laundering by the global Basel Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Index in 2017.
So what will happen if the Regime actually passes the needed bills? Well, there is unlikely to be an any improvement in Iran’s status regarding the US sanctions imposed after America pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal because the two are unrelated.
However, if the Regime fails to comply, things will only get worse economically for the Regime.