Economy, Business And Markets

Gov’t Pushing for Effective AML Policy

Gov’t Pushing for Effective AML Policy Gov’t Pushing for Effective AML Policy

The government has announced renewed efforts to combat money-laundering now that long-standing sanctions against the country have been lifted. In a Cabinet meeting early Wednesday presided by President Hassan Rouhani, the administration said the initiative seeks to promote economic transparency and enhance effective cooperation with other countries.

Due to the decade plus sanctions against Iran's financial and banking sector and its subsequent isolation from global business, the country has lagged behind in implementing advanced anti money-laundering measures adopted and advocated by international financial institutions. However, the Rouhani administration is keen on upgrading its anti-money laundering laws and counter-terrorism financing in the wake of the long-awaited sanctions relief.

Tehran took a meaningful step in upgrading its banking and financial laws closer to international norms with the Guardians Council ratifying a long-pending bill to curb money-laundering and financing terror early in March.

The bill -- drafted by the government in 2010 --had undergone a tough path, as it was passed by the parliament in 2011 but was rejected by the powerful Guardians. It was sent for revision to the judiciary and was once again tabled in the Majlis where lawmakers ratified it in the last fiscal year (ended March 19).

In Monday's meeting, the Ministry of Economy and Financial Affairs presented a report on anti-money laundry activities after the lifting of sanctions in mid-January.

The report shows that the Iran Financial Intelligence Unit (IRIFIU), affiliated to the Iran High Council on Anti-Money Laundering, reviewed a total of 2,927 cases of suspicious money transactions during the last fiscal year, 318 of which were sent to the courts for judicial hearing, the government's official website reported.

Cabinet members also called for using the full potential for taking preventive measures against organized crime, especially those involving smuggling of narcotics and other goods.

The High Council on Anti-Money Laundering was established in 2008. It is headed by the economy minister. The minister of industry, mining and trade, the minister of intelligence, interior minister and governor of Central Bank of Iran also sit on the council.

IRFIU is a national center for receipt and analysis of suspicious transaction reports (STRs) and other information relevant to money laundering, associated predicate offences and terrorist financing; and for the dissemination of the results of that analysis to competent authorities.