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Iran slams FATF for blacklisting Tehran

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Iran’s Foreign Ministry has slammed the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s decision to blacklist Iran as politically charged.

The ministry said the blacklisting is part of the US, Israeli and Saudi political ploys in international mechanisms. The reaction came after the global money-laundering watchdog blacklisted Iran for refusing to fully adopt its provisions.

Iranians believe the FATF’s decision is in line with the US government’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran to bring it back to the negotiating tables.

Experts say it’s against international law for FATF to lift the suspension of counter-measures and call on its members or urge all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures against Iran.

According to FATF, Iran will remain on the FATF statement on High Risk Jurisdictions Subject to a Call for Action until the full Action Plan has been completed.

If Iran ratifies the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions, in line with the FATF standards, the FATF will decide on the next steps, including whether to suspend countermeasures. Experts, however, say it won’t change the game on the ground.

Since 2016, Iran has established a cash declaration regime, enacted amendments to its Counter-Terrorist Financing Act and its Anti-Money Laundering Act, and adopted an AML By-law.

In February 2020, the FATF noted that there are still items not completed and Iran should fully address. Iran’s central bank chief, Abdolnaser Hemmati, has dismissed FATF’s latest decision, saying it will have no impact on the country’s foreign trade and the stability of its exchange rate. 
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