What to Do about Teheran's Money-Laundering

[Jerusalem Post] Michael Jacobson - Over the past year and a half, senior U.S. Treasury officials have traveled the world, briefing their finance ministry counterparts and the private sector on the range of Iran's deceptive financial activity. This includes: Iran's use of front companies; frequent requests by Iranian state-owned banks to remove their names from financial transactions; and the involvement of these same banks in Iran's nuclear and missile programs and terrorist financing. One international organization that would be well positioned to reinforce the American message would be the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, which seeks to set global standards on combating money laundering and terrorism financing. Launched by the G7 in 1989, FATF includes 31 member countries, including the U.S. and the European Commission. FATF should be pressed - through the UK, its sitting president - to blacklist Iran. Were Iran blacklisted by FATF, past history suggests that many governments would follow suit, placing Iran on their own domestic blacklists. This could have a significant impact, particularly if Iran's main business partners in Europe or Asia were to act. The writer is a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former senior advisor in the Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

2007-08-02 01:00:00

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