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France Willing to Pressure US Over Iran Financial Hurdles
France Willing to Pressure US Over Iran Financial Hurdles

France Willing to Pressure US Over Iran Financial Hurdles

Regarding the implementation of the standards pertaining to FATF, France seeks to take measures to share its experience with Iran and undertake relevant technical collaboration in order to pressure the US into facilitating financial transactions with the

France Willing to Pressure US Over Iran Financial Hurdles

France is willing to use its influence to pressure the United States into easing financial restrictions over Iran and wants to share its experience with the country regarding the implementation of FATF standards, the president of the French National Assembly said.

“Regarding the implementation of the standards pertaining to FATF, France seeks to take measures to share its experience with Iran and undertake relevant technical collaboration in order to pressure the US into facilitating financial transactions with the country,” Claude Bartolone said in a meeting with Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran on Wednesday.  

“We are ready to support and work with Iran in this area”, he was quoted as saying by the official CBI website.

The FATF (Financial Action Task Force) develops policies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. So far 198 countries have accepted its recommendations, the implementation of which is monitored through evaluations of member countries.

Referring to measures undertaken by the Paris-based initiative on a global scale, the senior French lawmaker said although there have been “sensitivities” around the organization, “any concerns are not exclusive to Iran and other countries feel the same”.

In recent weeks, cooperation with and interest in FATF has attracted heated controversy and media backlash among hard-line factions in Tehran who claim collaboration can and will lead to the disclosure of national financial affairs to the Paris-based organization.

The High Council of Anti-Money Laundering in Iran issued a statement this week in defense of the collaboration with the intergovernmental organization on Tuesday, saying the fulfillment of demands of FATF will be in line with national security and interests. The council also pledged to continue its collaboration with FATF to improve AML and CFT programs.

Welcoming Iran’s commitment to improve, the FATF called for a one-year suspension of some restrictions on Tehran in late June, but kept the country on its blacklist of high-risk nations.

 The French official called for expansion of relations between Iran and France, saying the economy ministry inn his country is ready to continue negotiations to build and develop two-way economic relations.

“The French government is seriously committed to implementing everything that was agreed upon as part of the JCPOA,” he said.

President Hassan Rouhani’s first foreign trip since the January implementation of the JCPOA (the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1) was to France, in which he signed several economic deals estimated at $33 billion.

In his meeting with Bartolone in Tehran on Tuesday, President Hassan Rouhani said the full enforcement of bilateral deals “can lead to a transformation in Tehran-Paris ties.”

 Joint Efforts in Economic Endeavors

The CBI chief hailed Iran’s nuclear agreement–struck last year– as a diplomatic achievement, saying that the full benefits of the deal should manifest itself in economic endeavors.

“Fortunately with opportunities that emerged as a result of the JCPOA, the groundwork has been laid for expanded economic relations. Strong banking links are a prerequisite to the full exploitation of this potential,” Seif said.

“Under the current circumstances, a need for more developed banking relations is felt.”

The head of the Money and Credit Council stressed the importance of clearing banking hurdles, saying that given the opportunities in the aftermath of JCPOA, Iran expects that Europe not fall behind [in expanding trade with Iran] and do what is necessary to remove the barriers.

Seif noted that banks from Italy, Austria and Germany have begun working with Iran, “but it feels like the French banking system has been overly cautious.”  Three branches of Iranian banks have currently obtained operation licenses in France and it is necessary that with “encouragement from Paris officials, French banks too restore relations with their Iranian counterparts.”

The CBI head opined that keeping Iran on the FATF blacklist was “unjustifiable” and “politically motivated.”

“Iran has been put on the blacklist along with North Korea, “while countries such as Nigeria and Sudan have been singled out as cooperative countries.”

 

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