The head of Iran’s parliamentary security committee said on Tuesday the issue of joining a global anti-money laundering convention known as the FATF has nothing to do with the country’s relationship with the United States.
“The process (of joining) the Financial Action Task Force should not be linked to ties with the US,” Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, who chairs Parliament's Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy told ISNA.
Falahatpisheh warned that “any action that would result in the international isolation of Iran needs to be avoided”.
Iran has been trying to implement standards set by the FATF, an inter-governmental organization that underpins the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
The government of President Hassan Rouhani has put forward four bills about the FATF at Parliament in an effort to bring Iran into line with global financial norms. Two of them have yet to be approved by the Expediency Council, a high body that gives a final vote on disputed issues at the legislature.
In recent days, speculation has been running rampant that the chances of getting the remaining bills passed at the council have become thin after the US designated Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a “terrorists organization” last week.
But Falahatpisheh said the US blacklisting of the IRGC and the approval of those bills by the high council are “two separate matters”.
Supporters of jointing the FATF says Iran’s compliance with FATF standards could facilitate foreign trade in the face of US sanctions. They say failing to implement FATF requirements could lead to Iran’s isolation.
However, proponents says passing legislation toward jointing the FATF, could hamper Iranian financial support for allies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
In February, the Paris-based watchdog gave Iran until June to fix its anti-money laundering and terrorism financing rules or face increased international scrutiny of its banks.
France, Britain and Germany, the three European signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal from which the US withdrew last year and reinstated sanctions on Iran, have tied Tehran’s compliance and removal from the FATF blacklist to a new channel for non-dollar trade with the designed to avert US sanctions.