EghtesadOnline: Following the Financial Action Task Force’s latest decision, Iran’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance issued a statement declaring that while it expected better results, the country will continue to take action to improve the situation.
On Friday, the intergovernmental organization in charge of setting global standards on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism announced the outcome of its plenary meeting, saying that it has decided to renew the suspension of countermeasures against Iran until its next meeting.
“Depending upon Iran’s progress in completing its action plan, the FATF will take further steps in June 2018,” it added.
The body, however, stopped short of permanently removing Iran from the list of high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions, according to Financial Tribune.
In its statement, the ministry said the FATF decision was taken in view of “the positive measures undertaken by Iran and despite the heavy lobbying by the US and a number of its regional allies starting weeks in advance of the plenary meeting with the goal of reinstating countermeasures against Iran”.
“Although this decision is on the whole positive and considered a notable success in the country’s economic diplomacy, the underlying belief is that in view of the measures taken so far, the Islamic Republic of Iran should have been removed from this list [the FATF blacklist],” the statement published on the official website of the ministry reads.
The statement is similar in tone and spirit to the statement published by the ministry through its AML division following the previous FATF verdict in June 2017 that had suspended countermeasures once more after initially halting them in June 2016.
“Even though we regard the recent FATF decision as a step forward, we announce that this positive measure does not satisfy Iran so we will continue to follow up the matter to provide the Iranian people with their full rights,” the earlier statement read, while referring to meddling by the US and its allies, including Israel and Argentina.
In its statement on Sunday, the Economy Ministry again stresses that the few countries led by the US tried to set Iran back, but their efforts were derailed after Iran provided technical and sound responses that led European Union representatives to renew the suspension of countermeasures.
After affirming that Iran’s FATF action plan is yet to be completed pending the ratification of measures in its parliament, the ministry expressed hope that it can fulfill its commitments in the remaining months by pursuing multilateral cooperation with the parliament and the Central Bank of Iran.
The statement adds that Iran seeks to achieve a normal status following more than 10 years on FATF’s blacklist, “and witness its positive results, including easing of correspondent financial and banking relations at the international level and a more active presence on the international monetary and financial scene”.
Amendments to Iran’s current AML/CFT laws and another bill concerning Iran’s accession to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which is currently being debated at the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, are awaiting the parliament’s ratification.