Iran Faces a Deadline on Terrorism Financing

(Atlantic Council) Nader Uskowi - On June 30, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) - the intergovernmental organization which monitors money laundering and terrorist financing - gave Iran until mid-October to fully criminalize terrorism financing in line with international standards - with no exemptions. Iranian law currently gives exemptions to protected proxies it regards as liberation organizations that share Iran's anti-U.S. and anti-Israel ideology, which allows Tehran to finance groups such as Hizbullah. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has publicly spoken out against changing laws to meet the FATF-related reforms. If Iran doesn't change its laws, it could be added to the agency's blacklist, which will presumably cause the exodus of the remaining financial institutions and foreign investors still operating in Iran. The FATF convention is observed not just by the West, but by Russia, China, and the overwhelming majority of countries. Its effects on Iranian banking could be devastating. The writer is a nonresident senior fellow with the Middle East Security Initiative at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

2018-07-24 00:00:00

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