0652 GMT November 19, 2019
"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, in line with recommendation 19," the Paris-based FATF said in the statement, according to Reuters.
The statement expressed that Tehran is expected to “proceed swiftly in the reform path to ensure that it addresses all of the remaining items by completing and implementing the necessary Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing reforms.”
The watchdog had earlier extended the suspension of its counter-measures several times as Iran’s legislature was engaged in passing the relevant bills.
Last October, Iran's Parliament approved four bills put forward by the government to meet standards set by the FATF.
Only two of them have so far gone into effect and the fate of the two others, one on Iran’s accession to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the other one; a bill amending Iran’s Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) law, is still in limbo.
Foreign businesses say Iran's compliance with FATF rules is key if Tehran wants to attract investors, especially after the United States re-imposed sanctions on Iran last year.
France, Britain and Germany have tied Iran's compliance and removal from the FATF blacklist to a new channel for non-dollar trade with Iran designed to avert US sanctions.
Supporters of the bill’s passage say it could ease foreign trade with Europe and Asia when the country's economy is targeted by US sanctions.
Opponents, however, say membership in the FATF will only make the country vulnerable to outside meddling.
They say Iran's implementation of FATF standards so far has not only failed to attract investment, but it has also exposed various institutions to extraterritorial regulations and penalties.
The FATF cannot impose sanctions, but individual states that are its members have used the group's reports to take punitive measures against their adversaries. As a result, Iran has been targeted by US and European sanctions.
Iran has already been implementing a domestic anti-money laundering law as part of its efforts toward financial transparency. Additionally, it has long been combating terror financing.