Iran’s FATF Outcome Unclear
EghtesadOnline: Executive secretary of the Financial Action Task Force has said that while Iran's Action Plan with global anti-money laundering body is mostly incomplete, it cannot be firmly said whether Iran will stay or be removed from the group's blacklist when the group convenes in February.
David Lewis told IBENA news website that Iran has completed only one out of nine plans put forward by the inter-governmental organization that the country should have completed nine months ago.
He said FATF is disheartened by the fact that Iran is lagging behind schedule and expects the country to make the necessary reforms within the required timetable.
"[However] there is no definite decision regarding Iran [on whether or not to remove the country from the blacklist]," Financial Tribune quoted Lewis as saying.
"The truth is that Iran reached an agreement with FATF and all the timetable was specified in the plan."
FATF announced earlier this month that Iran had until February to complete reforms that would bring it into line with global norms or face consequences.
The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force said after a meeting of its members that it was disappointed that Tehran had failed to act on nine out of 10 of its guidelines despite pledges to make the upgrade. It had previously set a deadline of October to complete all 10 reforms.
“We expect Iran to move swiftly to implement the commitments that it undertook at a high level long ago,” said Marshall Billingslea, the US assistant treasury secretary for terrorist financing, after chairing an FATF meeting.
“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,” he said.
In its official statement however, FATF did not specify whether they will extend Iran's deadline after February or this would be the last time such a waiver is granted.
After the ruling, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said he welcomed the FATF decision.
Iran’s Parliament has approved some measures against funding terrorism earlier this month but most of them have to be okayed by the constitutional watchdog the Guardian Council and FATF said that it could only consider fully enacted legislation.
Behrouz Nemati, a spokesman for the Majlis Presiding Board said last week after a closed session with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif that during the four-month period, a proper mechanism should be devised so that FATF-related measures are approved until February.