0126 GMT September 23, 2019
The approval of FATF bills by the Parliament is a stepping stone for the Iranian banks to open up and have more international transactions, and the accession to the bills per se does not mean that sanctions against Iran are set to be lifted.
More than 190 countries that have so far approved the rules set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) want to have banking relations through accepted international channels and standards.
One of the reasons cited by those objecting Iran’s approval of these bills is the number of countries that have permanently jointed FATF.
They say the permanent member states of FATF are only 37 countries, arguing that it is not necessary for Iran to opt in the international body.
There is a difference between being a member state and ratifying the rules set by FATF. There are more than 190 countries that have accepted the rules set by this body.
In case Iran does not get included in the list of countries that can have legal and legitimate transactions, its banks will have problems dealing with more than 11,000 banks in more than 200 countries.
Some people inside the country are trying to tie approving of the FATF bills to the issue of sanctions imposed against the country. They are trying to impart this message that by the approval of these bill the sanctions must be removed, while this is not the case.
The accession to FATF bills is the precursor for resolving Iran’s banking problems and paving the way for more foreign investment in the country.
The ratifications of Palermo and CFT conventions as well as two domestic laws concerning fighting financing terrorism and money laundering means that Iran, like many other countries, believes in the principle of international fight against terrorism.
Iran is on the same page with international community when it comes to fighting terrorism. The only issue is the dispute over using or not using the label of terrorism for certain groups. And no one can force Iran to follow FATF rules for such cases.
It is necessary to elaborate on the advantages and disadvantages of the approval of the FATF bills to ameliorate the polarized atmosphere created in the country regarding these bills.
The Tehran government has sent four pieces of legislation to the Parliament, which includes amending the country's AML/CFT law in accordance with FATF standards and joining the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo) and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
On October 7 lawmakers approved the anti-terror finance bill, the last remaining piece of the legislation that the parliament should have passed in order to fulfill the Iran Action Plan with the FATF.