EghtesadOnline: In view of the Financial Action Task Force’s next plenary meeting in June, Iran is updating its Anti-Money Laundering Law, along with other ongoing reforms to fulfill the body’s action plan.
Last week, the lawmakers passed the amendment bill to the current AML Law, which also addresses Combating Financing of Terrorism Law.
According to the official news outlet of the parliament, 139 of the 225 lawmakers present during last week’s session agreed with the general outlines of the bill formally submitted by President Hassan Rouhani on Nov. 20 along with the CFT amendments.
MPs, however, decided to discuss the details of the bill and address the more controversial points of the bill during upcoming sessions, according to Financial Tribune.
On Sunday, lawmakers agreed with the establishment of Financial Intelligence Center at the Economy Ministry to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The body will monitor suspicious transactions related to money laundering and financing of terrorism and detect them.
Lawmakers also required entities such as the Law Enforcement Force, Intelligence Ministry, Central Insurance of Iran, Organization for Civil Registration, Audit Organization of Iran, Securities and Exchange Organization, the Central Bank of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration to cooperate by submitting Suspicious Transactions Reports (STR).
But the final ratification of the bill was withheld because of dispute over the terrorism designation applied to liberation and resistance movements.
The Paris-based body, which acts as the world’s financial watchdog, decided for a third time to suspend its countermeasures against Iran in February.
In its statement of June 2016, FATF welcomed Iran’s high-level political commitment to address its strategic AML/CFT deficiencies and its decision to seek technical assistance for the implementation of its action plan.
“As Iran provided that political commitment and the relevant steps it has taken, FATF decided in November 2017 to continue the suspension of counter-measures,” the body added.
But the last time around, the body specifically identified what it wants from Iran to address.
Among other things, it requires Iran to “adequately criminalize terrorist financing, including by removing the exemption for designated groups attempting to end foreign occupation, colonialism and racism”.
Critics argue that this condition is out of step with Article 154 of the Iranian Constitution that says Iran “will not meddle in other nations’ affairs, but supports the rightful struggle of the oppressed against arrogant forces anywhere in the world”.
However, proponents of the measures say what FATF really wants is for Iran to identify and recognize what it deems as terrorist groups and organizations based on its own standards and those of the United Nations.