Watchdog sanctions Iran over lax terror financing laws

23 February, 2020 12:00 AM printer

PARIS: A multinational financial crimes watchdog on Friday faulted Iran for not doing enough to counter a "terrorist financing risk" and announced the reinstatement of punitive measures against the country.

In a statement issued after a meeting in Paris, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said it was rescinding a suspension of the measures, granted in 2016, to give Tehran time to work on reforms.

The FATF "fully lifts the suspension of counter-measures" it said, citing Iran's failure to enact the UN's 2001 Palermo Convention against organised crime and the Terrorist Financing Convention.

It also urged FATF member states and "all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures".

Iran is alone with North Korea on an FATF blacklist, which severely restricts their access to loans and international aid. The agency has 37 nations and two regional organisations as members.

Iran's government has hoped to salvage banking and trade ties after the United States walked out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed crippling unilateral sanctions.

The other parties to that 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.

In a bid to do so, the government drafted amendments to laws aimed at curtailing counter-terrorist financing and money laundering.