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EghtesadOnline: The Financial Action Task Force commenced a week of meetings on Sunday to discuss major issues regarding money-laundering across continents.

The global watchdog announced on its website the FATF Week will be attended by more than 800 representatives from 205 countries and jurisdictions around the world, the IMF, UN, World Bank and other organizations, according to Financial Tribune.

The FATF plenary and working group meetings will run from February 16 till Feb 21 in Paris.

Among other issues, the international watchdog, which monitors global money laundering and terror financing, will discuss progresses made by Iran and Pakistan and other countries that the watchdog claim “present a risk to the financial system”. 

FATF suspended countermeasures against Iran in 2016 to monitor its progress in implementing an Action Plan, though it remained on the watchdog’s blacklist. 

The Paris-based watchdog issued a four-month deadline in mid-October, giving Tehran a last and final chance to comply with international anti-money laundering rules by February 2020. 

Iran has enacted amendments to counter-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering acts. But in order to escape an FATF blacklist it has to ratify two more bills, namely, the Palermo (convention against transnational organized crime) and terrorist financing conventions.  The key bills have been passed by the Majlis but not yet endorsed by higher legislative authorities.  

Despite the fact that Iran has so far failed to fully meet the standards of the global watchdog, the government has intensified efforts to enforce anti-money laundering rules.

The Governor of Central Bank of Iran Abdolnasser Hemmati has said the CBI “will continue to control the circulation of money and fight money-laundering”.

Informed political and economic sources in Tehran say that a combination of these efforts may satisfy the concerns of the global watchdog.   


Other Issues 

Apart from above issues, the watchdog is set to discuss the progress of FATF’s 12-month review of activities and operations covered by the FATF’s standards on virtual assets to prevent their misuse for crime and terror, including the potential impact of "stable coins", and FATF’s briefing to G20 on this issue.?

Stablecoins are a new type of cryptocurrency that often has their value pegged to another asset. These coins can be pegged to fiat currencies, other cryptocurrencies, precious metals or a combination of the three.  Stablecoins are designed to tackle the inherent volatility seen in cryptocurrency prices. 

The FATF meetings also cover assessments of measures by the United Arab Emirates to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, the progress of an FATF initiative to combat financial flows from the illegal wildlife trade, adopting guidelines on digital identity and developments in the financing of ISIL, Al-Qaeda and affiliates.


Iran FATF money laundering Financial Action Task Force Meeting