Iran's co-op with other states limited due to FATF, official says (Exclusive)
Tehran, Iran, Oct.10
Continued international cooperation with Iran depends on implementation of anti-money laundering and counter terrorism laws in the country, deputy head of Iran-China joint chamber of commerce Majid-Reza Hariri told Trend.
Referring to the approval of the FATF in Iran`s parliament and its impact on the country's economy, he compared it with having a car license.
"If I want to travel to Isfahan province, doesn't matter I am traveling with Pride (cheapest car in Iran) or Porsche, what is important is - does the car have a license?," he said.
The FATF measures as a whole have been a hot topic in Iran over the past years.
The parliament debated the counter-terrorism financing bill for four months, before 143 parliamentarians voted in favor, with 120 against and five abstaining. There are a total of 290 seats in parliament. The Guardian Council must still approve the bill before it becomes law.
“FATF is an international financial group which does not need Iran, but Iran needs it. The major banks of the world accept this group and if Iran`s banking behavior is not approved by this group they can easily refrain from working with Iran," said Hariri.
Iran, along with North Korea are on the blacklist of the FATF.
The Paris-based organization “does not force any country or financial institution" to work with any country. Instead, it recommends that each country deals with money laundering and financing of terrorism. Due to sanctions and Iran`s complex foreign policy, it's better for Iran to not cross the red lines,” he said.
Referring to the agreements previously made with the FATF, Hariri said that for Iran to be removed from the mentioned blacklist for two years, Iran needs to commit to ratifying the anti-money laundering and fighting financial terrorism laws in the parliament.
“Of course, in our country, the law is not what the parliament ratifies, but it is what the Guardian Council finalizes,” Hariri said.
“If, ultimately, we do not join to FATF, no country, even Iran`s allies will not jeopardize their credibility by cooperating with Iran,” he said.
Mentioning that China, India and the EU want to establish clear financial channel to trade with Iran, Hariri said that if Iran wants to work with other countries, it needs to accept the proposed conditions.