Need to Avoid Factionalism on FATF

Need to Avoid Factionalism on FATFNeed to Avoid Factionalism on FATF

It is essential to avoid factional disputes over the adoption of laws in line with the standards of Financial Action Task Force, a lawmaker said. 
"Enacting the two bills [on compliance with FATF regulations] … needs to be reviewed from a technical point of view and by taking into account the country's security and national interests," Mohammad Javad Jamali, deputy chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ISNA. 
FATF is a global dirty money watchdog based in Paris, which has urged Iran to comply with its norms. After extending its deadline several times, it gave an ultimatum late October that noncompliance by February 2020 will lead to countermeasures from all member states.  
It also said that it was asking members to demand scrutiny of transactions with Iran and tougher external auditing of financing firms operating in the country.
Iran has enacted two amendments in line with FATF standards, but the two bills related to international conventions against transnational organized crime (known as Palermo) and terrorist financing (known as CFT) are yet to be ratified. 
The relevant laws have been passed by the parliament, but not endorsed by higher authorities yet. 
Foreign businesses say Iran's compliance with FATF rules is crucial if Tehran wants to attract investors, especially after the United States reimposed sanctions on Iran last year.



Opposing Views 

Domestic circles have opposing views about the adoption of FATF standards. 
Supporters say it could ease foreign trade with Europe and Asia at a time when the country's economy is targeted by US penalties, while opponents argue that passing legislation toward joining FATF could hamper Iran's support for allies. 
Failure to meet the norms would result in the country being placed on FATF's blacklist. 
"Under the circumstances, those countries that do not wish to abide by American sanctions against us will not be able to cooperate with us due to the country’s blacklisting," Jamali said. "In other words, we will lose our partners while facing sanctions." 
Iran has reservations about certain FATF norms, such as its designation of groups considered as terrorists. The government has included those reservations in the relevant bills, but other countries’ alterations of these norms have not been accepted by the Paris-based institution, according to Jamali. 
Advocates say Iran can abandon the conventions if problems arise, but opponents argue that this would be a costly process and would at least take a year. 
Jamali stressed that the case needs to be addressed away from factional arguments. 

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