However, these benefits were not shared equally in the country, with the Iranian people continuing to live in poverty, while the Regime lined their own pockets, increased the powers of their malign Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its elite branch the Quds Force, and funded yet more militias and terror groups across the region.
Luckily, the international community finally seems to be doing something about this – largely thanks to new US sanctions on Iran – in order to combat Iran’s malign abuse of its economy.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesman Gerry Rice issued an ultimatum to Iran, giving it until February 2019 to strengthen its anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing rules, something that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) agreed with.
Marshall Billingslea, the US Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, who currently presides over the FATF, said: “We expect Iran to move swiftly to implement the commitments that it undertook at a high level so long ago. 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.”
Following the implementation of the nuclear deal, Iran promised to implement FATF’s 10 reforms, but so far, they have not. Iran’s leaders might be shrugging off the repercussions of not meeting international standards, but the consequences can be extremely severe.
If Iran fails to meet the FATF or IMF requirements, it will end up back on the international money laundering blacklist, which would mean that foreign investors, banks and financial institutions would be reluctant to do business with the country.
This combined with US sanctions will seriously damage the Regime’s economy.
The mullahs may we make promises about delivering reform, but, as evidenced by the past 40 years, this does not mean that they will. After all, terrorism financing is a key part of how the mullahs keep control and they are not going to give that up. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has even denied the need for any reform.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “In other words, financing terrorism is the raison d’être of the Iranian regime. That is why Khamenei has repeatedly slammed any effort by parliament to ratify treaties to comply with global financial standards… Halting terror financing and money laundering would mean that the regime would lose its ability to fund and sustain its militia groups and proxies.
As a result, the Islamic Republic, which is the top state sponsor of terrorism in the world, will not attempt to clamp down on its terror financing.”
The IMF, FATF and UN should have tackled the Iranian Regime for these infractions decades ago, as Iran poses a threat to the global financial system.
The FATF, IMF and UN need to level appropriate sanctions against Iran’s economy immediately to cut off the flow of funds to terror groups.