Global Watchdog Places Iran on Terrorism Financing Blacklist

Move comes after Paris-based task force warned Iran for three years that it must enact terrorist financing conventions, with which the Islamic republic failed to comply

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaking to the press after casting his vote at a polling station in the capital Tehran on February 21, 2020.
AFP

A global dirty money watchdog on Friday placed Iran on its blacklist after the country failed to comply with international anti-terrorism financing norms.

The decision comes after more than three years of warnings from the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) urging Tehran to enact terrorist financing conventions.

However, the FATF appeared to leave the door ajar for Iran saying "countries should also be able to apply countermeasures independently of any call by the FATF to do so."

Iran has been trying to implement standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental organization that underpins the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Foreign businesses say Iran’s compliance with FATF standards and its removal from the organization’s blacklist are essential if they are to increase investment, especially after reimposition of the U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

However, Iranian hardliners have opposed passing legislation toward compliance with the FATF, arguing it could hamper Iranian financial support for allies such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which the United States lists as a terrorist organization.

An Iranian council approved an anti-money laundering bill last year, one of four amendments the country needed to meet the FATF's requirements. Parliament had passed the bill a year earlier, but the Guardian Council, a vetting body, rejected it, saying it was against Islam and the constitution.