By The Free Iranian Staff
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the Paris-based international organization that oversees the prevention of money laundering and terrorism finance, has given the Khomeiniist regime another extension of its deadline to comply with international finance regulations.
The new deadline is February, 2020, four months later than the October, 2019, deadline that the FATF had imposed on Tehran in June.
This move comes days after the regime’s Expediency Council had rejected the Palermo and Terrorist Finance Conventions, two key international anti-corruption and counterterrorism agreements, that the FATF has mandated that Tehran ratify. The regime rejected the conventions on the grounds that, as a key cleric stated, they “will help the United States identify the ways we circumvent the sanctions.” Iran and North Korea are the only two countries who have yet to ratify these agreements.
The FATF’s statement read, “If before February 2020, Iran does not enact the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions in line with the FATF Standards, then the FATF will fully lift the suspension of counter-measures and call on its members and urge all jurisdictions to apply effective counter-measures.” Some observers, though, feel that the FATF has already been too lax towards Tehran.
The regime first began negotiating compliance with the organization in June, 2016. Since then, the FATF has repeatedly given Tehran deadlines for implementing anticorruption laws and procedures that are standard in the rest of the world, but Tehran has kept balking. Rather than confront the regime and make it face the consequences of its intransigence, the FATF has only continued to extend Tehran’s deadline. Such behavior motivates the regime to continue stalling.
Were the FATF to place Iran on its list of economically blacklisted states, Iranians would be unable to conduct almost any kind of international business. This, so far, has been contrary to the interest of the European countries who make up a large part of the FATF’s membership. These countries are still hoping to preserve the major trade deals they signed with Tehran during the period of Obama’s nuclear deal, the JCPOA, and an FATF blacklist would be the nail in the coffin to these dreams.
Corruption and money laundering are all-pervasive in Iran. According to some indexes, Iran ranks first in the world in money laundering, ahead of Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Even members of the regime regularly admit that officials routinely engage in embezzling state funds, bribery, expropriation, and illicit black-market trading. The all-powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps is known to be involved in drug trafficking, currency speculating, luxury good smuggling, underhanded oil transfers, and a myriad of other offenses.
As such, it appears unlikely that the regime would ever open itself to the kind of scrutiny that the FATF is demanding of it.