FATF Week Begins With Iran on Agenda
EghtesadOnline: The Financial Action Task Force, the global anti-money laundering body, convenes on Sunday with a to-do-list which includes evaluating the progress by Iran in fulfilling its Action Plan to reduce its AML risk.
Over 800 officials representing 204 jurisdictions, the IMF, UN, World Bank and others will come to Paris for FATF Week at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the body's website reported.
"During six days of meetings, they will discuss 140 papers on a range of important issues to protect the integrity of the financial system and contribute to global safety and security," it said.
The week’s meetings will conclude with the first plenary meeting under the US presidency, chaired by FATF president, Assistant Secretary Marshall Billingslea, on 17-19 October, Financial Tribune reported.
In June, the Paris-based inter-governmental body announced that although it was "disappointed" with Iran’s failure to implement its action plan to address its significant AML/CFT deficiencies, "in view of the Iranian government’s continued efforts to finalize and pass amendments to its AML and CFT laws, the FATF decided at its meeting this week to continue the suspension of counter-measures."
FATF said in its final statement after its joint plenary session that it expects Iran to complete its action plan in full compliance with the FATF standards by October 2018 or otherwise, the FATF will "decide upon appropriate and necessary actions at that time".
The Tehran government has sent four pieces of legislation to the Parliament, which includes amending the country's AML/CFT law in accordance with FATF standards and joining the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo) and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. The CFT amendment has been approved by both the Majlis and the Guardian Council and early indications from GC's spokesman implied that the body has also approved the AML and Palermo.
Secretary of the Association of Banks and Private Institutions said on Saturday that being removed from FATF's blacklist would render futile the efforts of those trying to obstruct Iran’s monetary transactions, IRNA reported.
Mohammad Reza Jamshidi said the approval of the measure allowing the country to formally join the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism by the Iranian parliament will clear hurdles although the new law must yet to be approved by the Guardian Council – the powerful vetting body that ensures laws are compatible with religious principles and the Constitution.
The measure was approved on October 7 by 143 votes to 120, while five lawmakers abstained. The anti-terror finance bill was the last remaining piece of legislation that the Majlis should have okayed in order to fulfill the Iran Action Plan with the FATF.
“The final approval is the function of the Guardian Council. If the council finds the bill incompatible with the Constitution or religious laws and sends it back to the Majlis, it will be redirected to the Expediency Council,” Jamshidi added.
This is the fourth measure sent to Majlis for improving Iran’s interaction with the FATF and the entire banking system is awaiting the council’s approval.
“If Iran’s relations with FATF are not clear, even Chinese and the Russian banking systems will not cooperate with Iran,” he warned.
Iran was placed on the FATF blacklist in 2007 and the body officially set counter measures against Tehran in 2009. This is seen by foreign investors and businesses as a warning to stay away from Tehran.