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Iran Faces Anti-terrorism Financing Watchdog Blacklist

Iran Faces Anti-terrorism Financing Watchdog Blacklist

Friday, 21 February, 2020 - 11:00
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the FATF (the Financial Action Task Force) is seen during a news conference after a plenary session at the OECD Headquarters in Paris, France, October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Asharq Al-Awsat

A global dirty money watchdog is likely to place Iran on its blacklist on Friday after it failed to comply with international anti-terrorism financing norms, two diplomats said.

The decision comes after more than three years of warnings from the Paris-based Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) urging Tehran to enact terrorist financing conventions or it would see its suspension from the blacklist lifted and some counter-measures applied.

It will mean more scrutiny of transactions with Iran, tougher external auditing of financing firms operating in the country and add pressure on the few banks and businesses still operating with Iran.

"It will be placed on the blacklist today," said a Western diplomat. "The consequence of (Iran's) inaction is higher costs of borrowing and isolation from the financial system."

A second diplomat also told Reuters that Iran would be placed on the list.

However, the two diplomats and a third European official, who did not confirm Tehran would be placed on the blacklist, said countries would be called to implement counter-measures relevant to their economies, leaving them with a choice on what to implement.

"It's a middle solution. A sort of a fudge to leave the door open for the Iranians," said one the diplomats.

Foreign businesses say Iran's compliance with FATF rules is key if Tehran wants to attract investors, especially since the United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran in 2018 after withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and other world powers.

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