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Iranian Ministers Send ‘Warning Letter’ to Khamenei on FATF

Iranian Ministers Send ‘Warning Letter’ to Khamenei on FATF

Wednesday, 23 January, 2019 - 07:00
Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei poses before delivering a speech marking Nowruz, Iranian new year, in this handout photo. Reuters
London - Adil Al-Salmi
Several ministers in the government of President Hassan Rouhani have signed and sent a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei requesting his help to finalize anti-corruption legislation related to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The ministers demanded the urgent discussion of the government proposal by the Expediency Council, which has powers to approve Iranian bills.

In their letter, the ministers warned from the negative consequences of Iran’s delay in joining the “Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime” or Palermo and the “International Terrorist Financing Convention” known as CFT.

Media reports uncovered on Tuesday that the ministers could resign if the window for joining the international task force combating terror funding and financial corruption is closed down.

The FATF has given Iran a February deadline to complete the necessary reforms for its membership and to be removed from its blacklist.

The minister of labor and welfare, Mohammad Shariatmadari, confirmed on Tuesday that several ministers have written a letter to Khamenei requesting his help in speeding up the process of joining FATF.

The Expediency Discernment Council, which Iranian deputies hope will reassert its support for passing the CFT, is also almost entirely molded by Khamenei, who once every five years elects 44 of the body’s members.

Last Monday, the Iranian parliament failed in gaining the ultra-conservative Guardian Council’s approval for Iran joining the FATF, leaving the dispute to be settled by Tehran’s Expediency Council.

If Tehran fails to secure its FATF membership, it risks stringent and suffocating international measures striking the Iranian financial and banking sector.

The FATF is an international watchdog with objectives to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

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