Terrorism Financing Watchdog Reinstates Iran Sanctions


Paris: A multinational financial watchdog reinstated sanctions against Iran on Friday, saying the Islamic republic has not taken sufficient measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorist groups.

In a statement issued after a meeting in Paris, the 38-nation Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced it was lifting a sanctions suspension it granted in 2016 to give Iran time to work on reforms.

Given "Iran's failure to enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards, the FATF fully lifts the suspension of counter-measures," the body said, referring to the United Nation's 2001 convention against organised crime.

It also called on FATF members and "all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures."

Iran is alone with North Korea on the agency's blacklist.

Last month, an Iranian arbitration body gave its approval to an anti-money laundering bill seen as crucial to maintaining international trade and banking ties.

The government of President Hassan Rouhani said the laws were needed to meet demands set by the FATF.

The government is hoping to salvage banking and trade ties after the United States walked out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed crippling unilateral sanctions.

The other parties to the deal — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia -- have sought to salvage the agreement and maintain trade with Iran, but have called on Tehran to meet the FATF requirements.

The FATF said Friday that it would keep Iran on a "high risk jurisdictions list," and will decide on next steps "if Iran ratifies the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions, in line with the FATF standards."

"Until Iran implements the measures required to address the deficiencies identified with respect to countering terrorism-financing... the FATF will remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system," it said.